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Life after advertising: Jeffrey Seah

Marketing Magazine

Marketing Magazine interviews Quest Ventures Jeffrey Seah on his life after a successful advertising career.

Before he was a venture capitalist, Jeffrey was CEO of Southeast Asia & Chairman, Asia Digital Leadership Team, Starcom MediaVest Group. He brings decades of experience and relationships to portfolio companies looking for go to market strategies.

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Startups are excited about accessing the hottest economy of Southeast Asia: Q&A with Quest Ventures’ Michelle Ng

KrASIA

Vietnam, with its young and tech-savvy population, is part of Enterprise Singapore’s Global Innovation Alliance network.

“Vietnam’s startup scene is now moving into the globalization stage.” Quest Ventures’ managing partner James Tan told the audience at Enterprise Singapore’s first SG Innovation Community Day that companies of the young and dynamic country are now looking for global scale. Quest Ventures partnered with Enterprise Singapore in the “Global Innovation Alliance” to connect Southeast Asian startups with the ecosystem in Vietnam.

At the event, Tan introduced Quest’s Vietnam Global Innovation (VGI) program for post-seed and Series A-stage startups. Michelle Ng, Senior Associate of Quest Ventures, is shedding some more light on the initiative responding to KrASIA’s questions.

KrASIA (Kr): You just kicked off your acceleration program for post-seed and Series A-stage startups in the Vietnamese market. What excites Quest Ventures about Vietnam? Why should the startups be excited?

Michelle Ng (MN): Vietnam is one of the most dynamic emerging economies in Southeast Asia. Its robust economy is supported by strong domestic demand and an export-oriented manufacturing sector. It has a population of 100 million with 70% below the age of 35. It has an emerging middle class that stands at 13% and is expected to reach 26% within ten years.

A tech-savvy population coupled with a propensity to spend provides many opportunities and challenges to solve for tech startups expanding in the region. Startups are excited about accessing the hottest economy of Southeast Asia, one of the fastest growing digital economies, with opportunities for startups in the e-commerce, software outsourcing, AI, fintech, and healthtech space.

Kr: Who can apply?

MN: Quest Ventures is looking for all tech startups and SMEs which (1) have an MVP, with existing customers and partners; (2) are at seed stage and beyond in terms of funding raised; (3) are strong in MAU, GMV, or revenue traction and (4) have the potential to address market needs in Vietnam and the region.

Kr: Please guide us through the program that the selected startups will run through. What can they expect and what are pitfalls they should prepare for?

MN: Quest Ventures supports startups through a wide network of mentors and domain experts. Startups will also have access to high quality and comprehensive online training module topics, and—if global health situation allows—an in-market immersion in Vietnam to maximize exposure and establish long-term partnerships between startups and ecosystem players. In our experience managing market access programs, the most common pitfall is a lack of understanding of the market, followed by a lack of support network. The VGI changes these dynamics and places startups on better footing to begin their exploration of the market.

Kr: Many e-commerce startups have been very successful during the pandemic. Aside from e-commerce, do you see any other sectors that might offer promising products for the Vietnamese market and why?

MN: We see excitement in sectors such as logistics and supply chain. These are also closely linked to the digital economy which we focus on. Examples include PostCo that Quest Ventures introduced to the Vietnam market. They have partnered with Sendo, one of the big four marketplaces in Vietnam, and even during COVID-19, are on track to outperform.

Kr: At the event you mentioned that you were still looking for strong partners out of Singapore for this program. Who can be a partner? How can they help and what are the benefits?

MN: Quest Ventures is looking for corporations and individuals who are key in driving entrepreneurship and innovation in Vietnam. They can help by working with our highly innovative startups to bring them into Vietnam through mutually beneficial partnerships. Benefits to them would be to be plugged into the Southeast Asian startup ecosystem and innovation.

KrASIA is a media partner of the SG Innovation Community Day.

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Singaporean startup Partipost gets $3.5 million to let anyone become an influencer

Techcrunch

Partipost, a Singapore-based marketing startup that lets anyone with a social media profile sign up for influencer campaigns, has raised $3.5 million in new funding. The round was led by SPH Ventures, the investment arm of publisher Singapore Press Holdings, with participation from Quest Ventures and other investors.

The funding will be used to grow Partipost’s current operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan, and expand into Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, other Southeast Asian markets with heavy social media usage. Since launching its mobile app in 2018, Partipost says it has added about 200,000 influencers to its platform, and that over the past 12 months, it has helped conduct 2,500 social media marketing campaigns for more than 850 brands, including Adidas, Arnott’s, Red Bull, Chope and Gojek.

According to benchmark report released in March by Influencer Marketing Hub, the influencer marketing industry is expected to be worth about $9.7 billion in 2020, with companies spending increasing amounts on social media campaigns and working with more “micro-influencers.” To serve them, the report said that more than 380 new influencer marketing agencies and platforms were launched last year, joining a roster of companies that already include AspireIQ, Upfluence, BuzzSumo, SparkToro and Inzpsire.me, to name just a few examples.

While most of these companies focus on helping brands identify the influencers with the widest social media reach, Partipost lets anyone sign up to take part in a campaign.

“Partipost’s main difference is that we believe that everyone can be an influencer,” founder and chief executive officer Jonathan Eg told TechCrunch. “Even if you have 200 followers, you can be one. We want to create a new market that we believe will be the future. Everyone can post on social media, write a review or give some feedback and be paid for it.”

“We want to empower everyone to monetize off their own data and influence and not just allow the big tech companies to do so,” he added.

As part of the funding, SPH Ventures chief executive officer Chua Boon Ping will join Partipost’s board, while Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah will become an observer.

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An Apprentice takedown for One Championship?

The Business Times

Venture capitalist Jeffrey Seah, a media and advertising veteran, said: “In marrying the Chatri brand with The Apprentice’s established franchise-machine, the collaboration can potentially unlock the commercial potential… and might bring in the quality cash revenue streams ONE Championship has been seeking the past few years.”

The challenge will lie in distinguishing the show from newer content formats. “Digital-economy content models might cast a shadow on the aged media model of The Apprentice,” Mr Seah added.”

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Partipost bags USD 3.5 million funding in a SPH-led Series A round

KrASIA

Influencer marketing platform Partipost announced July 22 that it has raised USD 3.5 million in an SPH Ventures-led Series A, with participation from investors including Quest Ventures and others.

“Our latest fundraising round will enable Partipost to develop even better technology and collect more data to help us achieve our goals of helping brands connect to the right crowd of influencers as well as empowering these influencers with ability to be rewarded,” said the company’s founder and CEO Jonathan Eg in a statement.

The influencer marketing industry is set to grow to USD 9.7 billion in 2020 according to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub, a website dedicated to influencer marketing. Partipost also aims to accelerate business expansion into Vietnam, Philippines, and Malaysia while strengthening the current operation in Singapore, Indonesia, and Taiwan.

In addition to the funding, SPH Ventures CEO Chua Boon Ping will join as a director in Partipost’s board of directors. Quest Ventures’ partner Jeffrey Seah will also board as the company’s observer.

Founded in 2016, Partipost acts as a matchmaker for brands and influencers ranging from a few hundred to millions in follower size. Utilizing data insights collected through its in-app polls and user behaviour, the company helps find influencers with the highest brand affinity.

Since the launch of the Partipost mobile app in 2018, the startup has seen an average of double to triple-digit percentage month-on-month growth to more than 200,000 influencers, and has facilitated 2,500 influencer marketing campaigns for over 850 brands around the world in the past 12 months.

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Partipost raises $4.81m funding led by SPH Ventures

Singapore Business Review

Crowd influencer marketing and commerce platform Partipost has secured an investment of $4.81m (US$3.5m) led by SPH Ventures, according to an announcement. Quest Ventures and other investors also participated in the funding.

Partipost’s founder and CEO, Jonathan Eg, has assembled an investor base with deep domain knowledge in content, artiste management, data and advertising, as well as extensive industry networks which are critical for market expansion plans. Partipost counts singer and celebrity Will Pan as one of its earliest investors.

In connection with this investment, Chua Boon Ping, CEO of SPH Ventures will join Partipost’s board of directors as a director and Jeffrey Seah of Quest Ventures will join as an observer.

The funds raised are said to further develop Partipost’s tech platform and accelerate business expansion into Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia, as well as strengthen current operations in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Jonathan Eg adds that this latest fundraising round will enable Partipost to develop even better technology and collect more data to help brands connect to the right crowd of influencers as well as empowering influencers with ability to be rewarded.

Since the launch of the Partipost mobile app in 2018, the startup has seen an average of double to triple digit percentage growth MoM to more than 200,000 influencers. With the rapid traction, Partipost has been able to see through 2,500 influencer marketing campaigns for over 850 brands across geographical markets in the past 12 months.

Critically, the mobile app is said to allow Partipost to activate thousands of influencers for a single campaign within 24 hours. Partipost is set to hit over 1,000,000 influencers within the next 18 months.

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SPH Ventures leads US$3.5m Series A fundraise for Partipost

The Business Times

CROWD influencer marketing startup Partipost has raised US$3.5 million in a Series A funding round led by SPH Ventures, the corporate venture arm of Singapore Press Holdings, the startup announced in a Thursday press release.

The fundraise was joined by local venture firm Quest Ventures, among other investors. SPH Ventures chief executive Chua Boon Ping will join Partipost’s board, while Jeffrey Seah of Quest Ventures will join in as an observer.

Partipost said that its latest investors have “deep domain knowledge in content, artiste management, data and advertising, as well as extensive industry networks which are critical for market expansion plans”.

Jonathan Eg, Partipost’s founder and chief executive, said that his firm’s latest fundraising round will enable it to develop better technology and collect more data to help brands connect to right influencers, as well as to empower the influencers.

“Having strategic investors, such as SPH Ventures and Quest Ventures, will provide us with domain expertise and market networks to realise our growth vision faster,” Mr Eg added.

Julian Tan, chief of digital business at SPH (which publishes The Business Times), said the company is constantly looking to invest in digital businesses that can “add value and synergy” to its media segment.

“Partipost has built up a strong crowd influencer platform and we are working with them to see how best to offer their unique solution to further enhance our offerings to our users and clients,” he said.

Mr Chua of SPH Ventures added: “We are impressed by Partipost’s strong traction in Singapore, Indonesia and Taiwan as a young startup and look forward to partnering it to scale to new markets.”

Mr Seah of Quest Ventures believes that Partipost will be able to expand its base beyond the traditional influencer crowd, to include other public-facing figures, to “create vertical unlimited-volume content channels”.

“Partipost’s potential resides in its ease of onboarding quality content influencers with loyal follower bases. Besides millennial socialites, we believe Partipost will be able to onboard and scale the follower bases for established celebrities, news anchors, society spokespersons and literary writers,” he said.

“Partipost will drive a new era of commercial content monetisation partnerships. They are an excellent team of passionate technology entrepreneurs and have our full support,” Mr Seah added.

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SPH Ventures leads $3.5m funding in influencer marketing firm Partipost

Deal Street Asia

SPH Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH), has led a $3.5 million funding round in influencer marketing startup Partipost, according to a statement.

The financing was joined by Quest Ventures and others undisclosed investors.

Partipost matches brands with influencers to drive word-of-mouth marketing. It uses data insights through its in-app polls and user behaviour to crowdsource influencers.

Partipost operates in the influencer marketing industry, which is forecast to hit $9.7 billion in 2020, according to a report by Influencer Marketing Hub. The industry has seen a spike in the last two years as brands and governments shift their marketing efforts online to target Millennials.

In Southeast Asia, the influencer marketing sector was believed to have reached $638 million last year and is expected to quadruple within five years to reach $2.6 billion by 2024, according to influencer marketing agency IMA.

Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah said Partipost’s potential resides in its “ease of onboarding quality content influencers with loyal follower bases.”

Following the investment, … Seah will join Partipost’s board as an observer.

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凭AI搜索 本地公司要当法律知识界谷歌

联合早报

今年4月,INTELLLEX获本地风险投资者Quest Ventures所领导的几个基金联合注资210万美元,成为相信是本区域首家获得这等投资额的法律科技公司。公司创办人深知搜索资料的不易,立志于运用人工智能技术(AI)改善法律知识管理领域的运作。

新加坡法律采纳普通法系,特点是需要反复参考判決先例,但要如何从海量的普通法文献和判词中,找出一份包含信托、地皮公司、私生子和遗产继承几个元素的判例?

立杰律师事务所的前律师曾子谦(34岁)深知搜索资料的不易,立志于运用人工智能技术(AI)改善法律知识管理领域的运作。

2015年,他与四名好友李剑欣(32岁)、陈峙汎(34岁)、黄怡慧(32岁)和许展阁(35岁),联合创办AI法律科技公司INTELLLEX,成立专业知识管理系统,并设下目标,要成为“B2B(企业对企业)专业领域的谷歌”。

几经耕耘,这家也服务金融业、企业和税务领域的科技起步公司,团队已扩大到16人,并在英国伦敦设分公司。

公司逐渐赢得口碑,客户包括本地大型律师事务所、政府机构和国际律所。

今年4月,INTELLLEX甚至获本地风险投资者Quest Ventures所领导的几个基金联合注资210万美元(约292万新元),成为相信是本区域首家获得这等投资额的法律科技公司。

曾子谦说,公司准备用这笔资金扩大亚太和欧洲的服务,并研发新产品。

“资讯的爆炸及人工成本的提高,促使专业知识领域未来必须依靠人工智能的辅助。风险投资者的注资,证明了他们认可法律科技领域是方兴未艾的领域,日后仍有发展潜力及增长的空间。”

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Intelllex saves lawyers from ‘reinventing the wheel’

The Edge Singapore

The glamour and big bucks of the law has long been a key pillar of the “Singapore Dream”, but the trials and tribulations of the legal profession have often been cause for second thoughts. A day in the life of a high-flying attorney involves poring through piles of legal documents written in arcane language under severe time pressure. Small wonder, then, that three out of four lawyers leave the profession within 10 years.

Memories of stressful all-nighters, dealing with difficult bosses and having meals at odd hours remain vivid in the mind of one young lawyer. “You will also become heavily reliant on coffee or energy drinks, and drink copious amounts of alcohol on nights off to combat the stress and calm the nerves. Your social life will suffer. And trust me, you are going to be cancelling a lot of lunch and dinner appointments,” says RV, a member of the Law Society’s Young Lawyer’s Committee in an op-ed for its Law Gazette publication.

Much of this stress stems from how law firms manage the reams of information that come their way. As Singapore’s common law legal system requires lawyers to cite legal precedent from past cases, attorneys need to deal with large amounts of information gleaned over several years.

Borrowing a line made famous by former US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former lawyer Chang Zi Qian says that attorneys often “don’t know what they don’t know”. The process by which they obtain information from databases and colleagues is often uncoordinated and manual.

Intelllex has met with significant success so far, winning US$2.1 million ($2.9 million) in startup funding despite weak investor confidence following Covid-19. Led by Quest Ventures, investors include Thomson Reuters, Creative Technology founder Sim Wong Woo, and early Razer investors Chandra Mohan and Chong Chiet Ping. “We like that Intelllex’s ‘brains with AI brawn’ offering is well-positioned to resolve age-old productivity and delivery problems across multiple B2B industries,” says Quest Ventures partner Jeffery Seah, who will join Intelllex’s Board after the funding round.

The legal industry appears to agree, with Intelllex boasting a star-studded portfolio of clients. Besides government bodies and several of Singapore’s “Big Four” law firms — Allen and Gledhill, Drew and Napier, Rajah and Tann, and WongPartnership — Intelllex also works with one of Britain’s prestigious “Magic Circle” law firms in the UK, Hong Kong and Singapore. Smaller law firms are also well-represented among the start-up’s clientele, with such outfits constituting the bulk of its earliest clients since its founding in 2015.

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US Big Tech builds appetite for startup pie in South-east Asia

The Business Times

More high-profile investments in regional startups are emerging in a space already familiar to Chinese tech firms

US tech giants have made some recent high-profile investments into South-east Asian startups, the latest being Google’s plans to join Indonesian e-commerce player Tokopedia’s funding round, which aims to raise US$500 million to US$1 billion. Whether these investments will turn into proxy wars – as it has with Chinese tech majors – is still a question up for debate.

The strategic moves by US tech majors such as Facebook and Visa are likely to be fuelled by the rise of South-east Asia’s Internet economy and favourable demographics for growth.

“The US tech giants are actively searching for friendly frontier pastures in comparison to what they are facing at home, with Trump conservatism, and in China, their previous frontier land that is now made unfriendly by inter-governmental tensions,” said Jeffrey Seah, a partner at early-stage tech investment firm Quest Ventures.

“South-east Asia and South Asia represent scale, infrastructure-poor but aspiration-rich marketplaces to conquer and bring development economic benefits that are welcome by host governments.”

For Chinese tech giants, the battle lines have mostly been drawn in the e-commerce and e-wallet landscapes. For instance, a report from DealStreetAsia found that Alibaba (or affiliate Ant Financial) and Tencent are backing at least 11 e-wallet players in South-east Asia, in addition to expanding their respective Alipay and WeChat Pay.

For US firms, the strategy for now looks to be gaining exposure to opportunities in emerging markets. Heritas’ Mr Chik noted how some US and Chinese tech firms are common shareholders in South-east Asian startups. Google is with Tencent and JD.com in Gojek, for instance.

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Why is Vietnam going to emerge the strongest post-COVID-19?

e27

There are three reasons why Vietnam is outshining its neighbouring countries when it comes to handling the aftermath of COVID-19

Vietnam is one of the first countries to ease social distancing measures and reopen its society as early as April 2020, where most countries are only starting to grapple with the severity and spread of COVID-19.

Also known as the land of the ‘Ascending Dragon’ (due to the geographical shape on the world map), it the first in Southeast Asia to emerge from the global pandemic, allowing for businesses and domestic travels to reopen. Vietnam is also identified as one of the first countries in Southeast Asia when Singapore reopened its borders for travellers.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Vietnam stands at 349 (as of 22 June), with zero deaths. This stands in stark comparison with more than 42,000 cases in Singapore, 30,682 in the Philippines, and 8,587 in Malaysia.

The international community is stunned by Vietnam’s breakthrough during this COVID-19 pandemic. An Asahi Shimbun reporter assigned to cover Vietnam was intrigued by the following statement by a Japanese national who works in the country: “Even though I talked about the very few patients infected with the new coronavirus and the Vietnamese government’s tough measures to combat COVID-19, no one in Tokyo believed me.”

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the IMF’s 2020 GDP growth forecast for ASEAN-5 countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – is cut to -1.3 per cent (and Singapore -4-7 per cent), but Vietnam is expected to still experience positive 2.7 per cent GDP growth, with a strong rebound of seven per cent projected in 2021. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc sent a positive 2020 economic growth target of over five per cent, in spite of IMF’s projection.

From this, we can see Vietnam is poised to emerge one of the strongest economies in Southeast Asia and these are the three reasons why:

Swift action and digital services

Vietnam’s ability to achieve such outstanding results due to the swift and decisive actions from the national government, followed by coordinated and dedicated efforts of the general population. Vietnam took action very early when there was minimal information about the virus.

Nationwide school shutdowns were implemented in January, travel restrictions and border closure followed quickly. Vietnam also implemented aggressive contact tracing and quarantine people who are exposed to suspected cases for two weeks.

The Ministry of Health developed an app, NCOVI, health authorities disseminated warnings and orders through Zalo, a homegrown messaging app with more than 50 million users, and the internet spread a coronavirus public awareness pop song that went viral.

The swift action and digital services enabled transparency and collective and informed decisions in Vietnam’s battle against COVID-19, enabling them to emerge fast from the pandemic.

Resilient economy and startup ecosystem

The Business Times reports “Mobility metrics show the fastest recovery of activity in Vietnam, with movements to retail and recreation venues having rebounded to just 15 per cent below the baseline, compared to more than 60 per cent below baseline before measures began to lift.”

People may remember Vietnam for their amicable people, natural wonders, and sometimes their fight for independence for over 30 years. Through this COVID-19 episode, the world now views them in a new light, as a resilient and stable country, and one of the hubs for innovation and entrepreneurship in Asia.

The innovation ecosystem in Vietnam is attractive to e-commerce, software outsourcing, AI, fintech, healthtech startups. With more than 3,000 startups in the ecosystem, total investment in Vietnam startups increased six-fold in the period of two years between 2017 and 2019.

Some of the tech startups have also contributed to the fight against COVID-19 in providing online medical consultations, medical deliveries, and on-demand access to healthcare services.

Strong cross-border collaboration

“Being ahead of the curve, the ASEAN chair is in good stead to lead and shape regional responses on the pandemic”, says Dr Huong Le Thu, senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute told The Straits Times.

Vietnam works closely with the regional neighbours in COVID-19 response and also in terms of driving regional growth and innovation.

To drive regional startup ecosystem development and integration, Vietnam’s public and sector stakeholders have been actively partnering with international entities for two-way market access for startups expanding in the region.

Quest Ventures, in partnership with statutory boards under the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore and Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB), supports Singapore startups entering Vietnam through Vietnam Global Innovation (VGI) acceleration.

Leading venture capital in Southeast Asia, Quest Ventures supports startups through Quest Ventures’ wide network of mentors and domain experts. Startups will also have access to high quality and comprehensive online training module topics, and (if global health situation allows) an in-market immersion in Vietnam to maximize exposure and establish long-term partnerships between startups and ecosystem players.

It is no surprise that Vietnam emerged fastest during this health crisis and this winning strategy of swift action, resilience and cross-border collaboration is also the same one that will allow the economy and startup ecosystem to rise strongly in the region.

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SEEDS Capital and six partners to invest S$50m in maritime startups

The Business Times

ENTERPRISE Singapore investment arm SEEDS Capital, together with six appointed co-investment partners, will pump a combined S$50 million into more than 50 maritime technology startups in Singapore.

The co-investment partners are: Innoport, the corporate venture arm of family-owned ship owner and manager Schulte Group; KSL Maritime Ventures, the venture capital (VC) unit of the Kuok family’s investment-holding company Kuok (Singapore) Limited; PSA unboXed, the external innovation and VC arm of port operator PSA International; corporate innovation and venture development firm Rainmaking; ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures, a collaboration between maritime innovation firm ShipsFocus and VC firm Quest Ventures; and TecPier, a VC investor in early-stage maritime and supply chain startups.

The co-investment initiative is supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. SEEDS Capital and the appointed partners will invest in startups that develop solutions to improve operational efficiency and safety across the different segments of the maritime sector.

Enterprise Singapore said that strengthening the capability of the maritime sector will in turn enhance the resilience of key economic pillars such as the logistics, manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors, which are reliant on smooth and efficient global supply chain routes.

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Enterprise Singapore venture arm Seeds Capital and partners to invest $50m in maritime start-ups

The Straits Times

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) investment arm Seeds Capital, together with six appointed co-investment partners, will pump a combined $50 million into more than 50 maritime technology start-ups in Singapore.

The co-investment partners are: Innoport, the corporate venture arm of family-owned ship owner and manager Schulte Group; KSL Maritime Ventures, the venture capital (VC) unit of the Kuok family’s investment-holding company Kuok (Singapore) Limited; PSA unboXed, the external innovation and VC arm of port operator PSA International; corporate innovation and venture development firm Rainmaking; ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures, a collaboration between maritime innovation firm ShipsFocus and VC firm Quest Ventures; and TecPier, a VC investor in early-stage maritime and supply chain start-ups.

The co-investment initiative is supported by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Seeds Capital and the appointed partners will invest in start-ups that develop solutions to improve operational efficiency and safety across the different segments of the maritime sector.

Enterprise Singapore said that strengthening the capability of the maritime sector will in turn enhance the resilience of key economic pillars such as the logistics, manufacturing and wholesale trade sectors, which are reliant on smooth and efficient global supply chain routes.

Each co-investment partner will help the start-ups to fast-track their commercialisation of solutions… ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures will focus broadly on solutions in digitalisation, sustainability and deep tech for maritime commerce.

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Central Asia good expansion option for Singapore startups

The Business Times

When Singapore startups are looking to expand overseas, the go-to destination has always been its backyard in South-east Asia. But in an increasingly competitive and mature market, where the fight for top tech talent is intense, this reflex strategy requires a rethink.

Fast maturing Hanoi and Jakarta have seen startups grow at a rapid pace, and have attracted significant venture capital funding. There is not a lot of room left to play for latecomers.

At the other spectrum are Cambodia and Laos, which looked ready for Singapore startups to explore and expand. But VCs’ experiences reflect markets which are still at an early stage of building their startup ecosystems, and not quite ready for significant venture capital investments.

The need for startups here to look for fresh pastures farther afield is urgent, especially in a post-pandemic world where the search for opportunities requires greater creativity, commitment and courage.

Instead of being content to be near home, take the leap into less familiar territories. A good new landing point would be Central Asia. The region provides strong conditions to develop a startup ecosystem.

We are taking action. My company Quest Ventures will roll out a startup acceleration programme called Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator by the end of the year. It aims to nurture tech startups in Kazakhstan and Central Asia over the next three years.

This came after funding into Quest by QazTech Ventures, the venture arm of Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, in April this year. Our target is to groom 30 startups, or 10 a year.

Such optimism is not based on a punt. Central Asia, with Kazakhstan at its heart, is the new frontier for startups and is well equipped to take off.

As the most economically developed market in Central Asia, Kazakhstan has sought to create a finance and investment hub in its capital city of Nur-Sultan. The Astana International Financial Centre, established in the capital in 2018, uses English as the working language and offers visa and tax waivers to woo investors and global financial players.

On the tech front, the country has shown significant commitment in developing a future-ready infrastructure. For instance, several of their government services have gone digital – residents can register the birth of a child, or report a lost vehicle conveniently online via a centralised website.

This initiative was developed under the Digital Kazakhstan programme, a government-led effort to transform the country to a digital economy. Last year, the programme created some 8,000 jobs in the country.

Also, more than 75 per cent of its population have access to the Internet. Its telco sector is highly developed, with an extensive 4G network and high mobile penetration rate.

A large segment of the population own smartphones, and have access to mobile data. On Chocolife, a homegrown ecommerce startup in Kazakhstan that offers food delivery services, youngsters regularly spend the equivalent of S$4 or S$5 to order beverages for themselves – similar to Singaporean youths who are frequent consumers of gourmet coffee and bubble tea drinks.

This is good news for startups. Consumers in the young Central Asian country, where 45% of its population are aged under 30, are hungry for new experiences, curious about the world, and have the spending power to boot.

Some might point out that the Kazakh market, ready as it may be, is small and hence offers limited opportunities. Indeed, the sprawling country has just about 18.7 million people. But just like how Singapore is often seen by industry players as a gateway to South-east Asia markets, Kazakhstan is a bridge that connects investors to Central Asia.

The region, which includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, is home to 72 million people. In fact, if we expand the range to include regions within a 2,000km radius from Kazakhstan, we are looking at a potential market of 3.3 billion people, including a large swathe of Russia and Eastern Europe.

I can think of two immediate opportunities in Kazakhstan for Singapore-based startups.

First, to hunt for tech talent in the Central Asian region. While startups here have typically recruited talent from Vietnam and Indonesia, the brain drain in South-east Asia is a growing constraint. Kazakhstan’s emerging tech scene offers a rich talent pool of young, tech-savvy people seeking white-collar careers. They are educated, creative and modern.

The Kazakh government has invested significantly in developing and promoting STEM education. Students at the secondary education level are exposed to coding, robotics and even virtual reality to cultivate an interest in tech.

The country also wants to grow its startup landscape. Astana Hub, a government-run technology park similar to Singapore’s Block 71, offers support to startups in the form of training programmes, mentorships from entrepreneurs, office spaces and networking opportunities.

Second, Kazakhstan’s ambitious task of building a digital Silk Road provides opportunities for tech players. The government is pouring significant resources to develop the country’s information and communications technology infrastructure. It will require support in fields such as digital literacy education, cybersecurity and data analysis, to name a few – areas that Singapore startups are well-placed to be a part of.

Companies here may be reluctant to venture to the Central Asian region, due to differences in culture and language. But the longer we stay stagnant and stick to old formulas for growth, the easier it is for someone else to steal our lunches.

The writer is the managing partner of Quest Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm.

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Singapore startup gets funding for socially distanced karaoke

TechNode Global

Piling into a small, sweaty room that’s just been vacated by a bunch of strangers to belt out some bangers sounds like a bad idea right now—and that’s part of the reason a Singapore startup named Popsical has secured $5 million from investors to expand the reach of its socially distanced karaoke gizmo.

Popsical’s series A funding was led by local outfit Quest Ventures, reports The Business Times. The aim is to expand sales across Southeast Asia as well as Central and South Asia, including the massive India market.

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Karaoke startup Popsical gets S$6.9m in funding led by Quest

The Business Times

SINGAPORE-BASED Popsical, a startup that has created a home karaoke system combining a compact palm-sized device with a mobile app, has raised S$6.9 million in a Series A round led by Quest Ventures, with participation from government-owned investor SEEDS Capital.

Popsical’s notable early investors include Apricot Capital, Teo Heng KTV, Cash Studios KTV, OMG Ventures and Mediacorp.

Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Quest and an industry veteran from the data-marketing and digital-transformation domain, will join the startup’s board of directors.

The fresh funds will be used for market expansion, hiring go-to-market talent and developing Popsical’s roadmap of products and software-as-a-service offerings.

Unlike conventional karaoke sets that rely on a single remote, Popsical can pair up with an unlimited number of mobile devices at the same time. It uses a licensed cloud-based streaming system that includes a 14-language interface and a library with over 200,000 songs, updated daily with latest hits and song requests from its users. The system also has vocal effects to make one sound like a rock star – or a chipmunk.

The extended stay-home period during the Covid-19 pandemic led to an uptick in demand for Popsical via its e-commerce website. Average monthly sales from March to May were 47 per cent higher than in February.

Popsical currently sells to the Singapore and Malaysia markets. It plans to expand to Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as outside South-east Asia.

Co-founder and CEO Faruq Marican said: “India has an incredible music tradition and we think that karaoke would be an absolute hit there. We are also looking at Central Asia and places such as Kazakhstan, where karaoke is growing immensely in popularity.”

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新加坡云K歌平台Popsical完成A轮融资

动点科技

总部位于新加坡的智能云卡拉 OK 创业公司 Popsical 今天宣布获得 490 万美元的 A 轮投资,当地风投 Quest Ventures 领投,Seeds Capital 跟投。

这家初创公司在新闻稿中表示,这笔资金将用于市场扩张、招聘和产品开发。

刚刚加入 Popsical 董事会的 Quest Ventures 合伙人 Jeffrey Seah 表示:” 这家初创公司发现了市场的空白。随着远程视频连线成为全球家庭和社区的日常,我们预计他们会有更多有趣的尝试和机会。”

卡拉 OK 最早起源于日本,现在已经成为亚洲地区流行的一种娱乐方式,并扩展到世界不同地区。2020 年全球卡拉 OK 市场的价值已达 42 亿美元,预计到 2026 年底将触及 46 亿美元。

该公司表示,在大流行中,Popsical 的全球需求有了很大的增长。

Popsical 的早期投资人有 Apricot Capital、Teo Heng KTV、Cash Studio KTV, OMG Ventures、Mediacorp 等。

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Singapore’s Popsical raises US$5M Series A for its cloud-based karaoke platform

e27

Singapore-based smart streaming karaoke startup Popsical announced today that it has secured US$5 million in Series A round of investment, led by local VC firm Quest Ventures.

Seeds Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, also participated.

Founded in 2016 by three Karaoke enthusiasts, Popsical makes use of a licensed cloud-based streaming system to come up with a library of songs, which is updated daily in multiple languages. It also has inbuilt features like “sing like a rockstar or a chipmunk” to capture its GenZ and Millennials audience.

Popsical delivers compact size portable boxes which can be controlled by an app, in comparison to older models which used to be heavy and bulky and could only be fixed on one location.

“The startup has spotted a viable gap in the market, and we anticipate increasingly interesting opportunities for the company to exploit, especially with the Zoom-environment meeting becoming a part of family and community life across the globe. They are an excellent team of technology lifestyle entrepreneurs and have our full support,” said Jeffrey Seah, Partner of Quest Ventures. who has now joined the startup’s Board of Directors.

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Quest Ventures leads $5m funding in SG cloud karaoke startup Popsical

Deal Street Asia

Venture capital firm Quest Ventures has led the S$6.9-million ($5 million) Series A funding in Popsical, a Singapore-designed cloud Karaoke brand that saw sharp growth in demand during the COVID-19 period.

In a statement, Popsical said Seeds Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, also participated in the round. The new investors now join other early backers in the startup, which include Apricot Capital, Teo Heng KTV, Cash Studios KTV, OMG Ventures, and Mediacorp.

Popsical said the extended stay-home period during the COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge uptake in the global demand of the product, which is available via its e-commerce website.

The Popsical Remix Karaoke system, a “cloud karaoke system with Spotify-like features”, has gained positive consumer and corporate responses alike in Southeast Asia, Middle East, and Europe, according to the company.

Unlike conventional Karaoke sets that rely on a single remote, Popsical has the capability of pairing up with mobile devices at the same time to add songs to the play queue anytime. Its licensed cloud-based streaming system also includes a multi-language interface and a library updated daily.

The fresh funding will be used for digital and geographic market expansion as well as to further upgrade Popsical’s products and services, among others, the startup said. As part of the Series A investment, Jeffrey Seah, Partner at Quest Ventures, will join the Popsical board of directors.

“They’ve spotted a viable gap in the market and we anticipate increasingly interesting opportunities for Popsical to exploit, especially with the Zoom-environment meeting becoming a part of family and community life across the globe,” Seah said.

Karaoke originated in Asia and has become a go-to recreational activity around the world. According to a research report cited by Popsical, the global Karaoke market was last valued at $4.2 billion in 2020 and is forecast to hit $4.6 billion by the end of 2026.

The investment from Quest Ventures will also present Popsical a market entry corridor into Kazakhstan and Central Asia – where Karaoke is a popular social and business event.

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Is the party over in Southeast Asia’s post-coronavirus tech scene?

SCMP

“The first thing VCs have done is to stop new investments and spend the last two to three months just trying to figure out what is happening to existing portfolios, how they are going to help them restructure in advance,” said Wong Poh Kam, a business professor from National University of Singapore.

For now, the party is over in the tech start-up scene. “Our internal research shows a steep drop in VC funding for the first quarter of this year,” said James Tan, managing partner of Singapore-based VC, Quest Ventures.

“If the current trends hold, the line continues flat for the next two quarters before a mild recovery takes place at the end of the year, and accelerates as the new year begins.”

Quest Venture’s Tan agreed: “We think venture capital firms that have dry powder today stand to invest in the greatest game-changing companies of tomorrow.”

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Singapore’s Action Community for Entrepreneurship Appoints New Chairman

Digital News Asia

The Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE) announces today that it has appointed James Tan as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors.

With more than 3,600 startups employing 18,000 people, more than 100 incubators, accelerators and venture builders, and 150 venture capital funds in Singapore, ACE’s scope has increased tremendously since its inception in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

With the global recession taking grip and Singapore’s gross domestic product (GDP) forecasted to shrink by between 4% to 7% this year, consumer spending behavior has taken a sharp turn to a cash preservation mindset. Startups face considerably more challenges than legacy businesses in this commercial new normal.

“Covid-19 has disrupted all businesses, and for many industries, the changes will be permanent and irreversible. Businesses – GLCs, startups and SMEs alike – have to re-emerge with viable and sustainable plans to respond to a post-lockdown economy reopening in phases and peppered with unfamiliarity as the economy searches for a steady-state,” says Tan.

“This is an opportune time for ACE to re-validate and expand the role it was set up for – to support the startup ecosystem in their journey to become viable business going concerns. In this difficult period for startups, ACE provided ground-up support through public webinars and private matching activities such as the Covid-19 Seminar Series and Meet-The-VC Sessions,” added Tan, who is confident that most startups will recover and the community will emerge stronger than before.

ACE has been working closely with community stakeholders, especially government agencies, innovation enablers, and startups, to drive entrepreneurship and innovation in Singapore and beyond aggressively. ACE also helps to facilitate disbursement of government grants such as the Startup SG Founder grant and the Global Talent Ready (GRT) grant, which saw a surge in inquiries during this pandemic.

“The digital transformation momentum from Covid-19 provides an impetus for the Singapore economy to become ‘The Innovation Island’,” challenges Tan who has set this as his vision for Singapore.

“Every crisis presents its opportunities. Covid-19 is cultivating a generation of resourceful, black swan-event-smart, and resilient Singapore entrepreneurs. Their collective experience and war stories will mold them into future leaders in our innovation ecosystem. We believe that such market-operating nous coupled with dexterous operating mindsets, raises the entrepreneur quotient of the Singapore business world. The outcome is a much more permanent systematic impact,” he stresses.

Prior to his appointment as chairman, Tan served on the Board as the deputy chairman from 2016 to 2020, and as a member of the Board from 2011 to 2016. Tan replaces Dr Mark Hon, who has completed his term as chairman. Hon, who will be appointed chairman emeritus, laid the groundwork to develop ACE into the international leading startup and innovation ecosystem developer it is today.

ACE was established in 2003 by the Ministry of Trade & Industry, and became a private sector-led organisation in 2014. Its current patron is Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Trade & Industry who welcomed Tan as the incoming ACE chairman.

“With his many years of experience on the ACE Board of Directors, I am confident that James will build on these efforts to further strengthen the local startup community and help more startups achieve sustainable growth. Together, we can help our startups emerge from this crisis stronger and more resilient,” said Koh.

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More than just moving, Moovaz wants to help rebuild life in a new place

KrASIA

“Because of the internet you can work from anywhere, there are a lot of digital nomads now. This affects how people relocate internationally,” said Lee. In the past, people tended to move to places where the economy is buzzing, but now, this trend is shifting.

Last April, Moovaz raised USD 7 million in Series A funding led by Quest Ventures. YCH Group, Singapore’s largest home-grown supply chain management company, also injected capital through its corporate venture arm, SCAngels. Moovaz intends to use the money for geographical expansion.

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SG-based lawtech startup INTELLLEX raises $2.1M

Digital Life Asia

As professional services firms adapt to the new normal, their knowledge management platforms will also need to evolve. Continuing its mission of modernizing knowledge-based industries, Singapore-based lawtech startup INTELLLEX has announced today that it has completed a US$2.1M funding round.

Quest Ventures led this round of funding. Participating were ​Thomson Reuters,​ ​Insignia Ventures,​ ​K3 Ventures and a Singapore government-backed venture capital fund. In conjunction with the funding, Jeffrey Seah, Partner at Quest Ventures, will join the INTELLLEX board of directors.

“INTELLLEX believes underutilized knowledge is dead weight. With the INTELLLEX platform, we convert such dead weight into knowledge assets that yield multiple and repeated value for our clients. With this round of funding, we will expand our service delivery across EU and APAC and accelerate development of new product offerings,” INTELLLEX Co-founder and Co-CEO Chang Zi Qian said in a press statement.

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Legaltech startup Intelllex raises US$2.1m led by Quest Ventures

The Business Times

INTELLLEX, a legal knowledge-management platform provider, has raised US$2.1 million in Series A funding led by local venture capital firm Quest Ventures, the startup announced on Thursday.

The funding round was joined by Thomson Reuters, Insignia Ventures, K3 Ventures and an undisclosed venture fund backed by the Singapore government, Intelllex said. Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah will join Intelllex’s board.

Intelllex previously raised an undisclosed sum from angel investors that included Creative Labs founder Sim Wong Hoo; Tan Kim Seng and Jeffrey Khoo of private equity firm 3V SourceOne and Kelvin Chan, a former managing director of Partners Group’s Asia-Pacific private equity team.

Its other early backers include Chandra Mohan, a partner at law firm Rajah and Tann; and Chong Chiet Ping, managing partner of Small World Group Incubator. Mr Mohan and Ms Chong were also early investors in gaming hardware firm Razer.

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Legal tech platform INTELLLEX raises US$2.1M funding round led by Quest Ventures

e27

INTELLLEX, a legal-focussed knowledge management platform, has closed a US$2.1 million funding round led by Quest Ventures.

This round also welcomed participation from Thomson Reuters,​ ​Insignia Ventures,​ ​K3 Ventures, and a Singapore government-backed VC fund.

Other early backers of INTELLLEX, including Sim Wong Hoo (C​reative Technologies​), Tan Kim Seng and Jeffrey Khoo (3VS1), Kelvin Chan (Ex-Partners Group), and Chandra Mohan and Chong Chiet Ping (Early investors in Razer), also took part in the funding round.

Chang Zi Qian, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of INTELLLEX, said that the company plans to use the funding for the expansion of its services across the EU and the Asia Pacific, as well as for acceleration of its new product offerings.

In conjunction with the funding, Jeffrey Seah, Partner at Quest Ventures, will join the INTELLLEX board of directors.

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Singapore’s logistics startup Moovaz acquires SPH publication The Finder

DealStreetAsia

Singapore-based logistics and international relocation service provider Moovaz said Thursday it has entered an agreement with media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to acquire its expat publication, The Finder.

The acquisition, which was completed in May, will add content and community-building to its service, Moovaz said in a statement.

Moovaz announced the closing of its $7-million Series A round in April led by Quest Ventures.

As part of the acquisition, Moovaz will take over the running of The Finder’s assets including its quarterly print and digital magazines, The Finder Kids supplements, web content, social media content in Singapore and Malaysia, it said in a statement.

And, Singapore Exchange Mainboard-listed SPH will become a shareholder of Moovaz.

“Global locals are a community of people with freedom imbued within their souls. What struck us the most about The Finder is how authentically its brand and content has resonated with this community for the past quarter of a century,” said Moovaz co-founder and CEO Lee Junxian.

The Finder is a free quarterly magazine aimed at helping expats and Singaporeans live well in Singapore. At 27 years, it is the longest-running publication for expatriates in Singapore.

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Logistics startup Moovaz acquires SPH’s The Finder

Tech in Asia

Singapore-based startup Moovaz today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Singapore Press Holdings’ (SPH) expat publication The Finder to add content and community-building to its relocation service.

The Finder provides expats with tips, ideas, and inspiration for what to do and buy and where to go in Singapore and around the region. It has more than 300,000 “global-local” users and is circulated in more than 400 locations, according to a statement.

Following the acquisition, Moovaz will be taking over the publication’s assets including its quarterly print and digital magazines, The Finder Kids supplements, web content, and social media content, among others, in Singapore and Malaysia.

Moovaz said the deal will help the magazine reach its relocation clients and build an ecosystem of end-to-end logistics and lifestyle services. At the same time, the startup looks to cater to global-locals as they relocate and settle into local communities.

As part of the transaction, the magazine’s editor-in-chief Sara Lyle Bow will be joining Moovaz as director of The Finder and head of community. SPH will also become a Moovaz shareholder and help with the startup’s regional outreach efforts via its media platforms, according to the statement.

Founded in 2017, Moovaz aims to offer transparency and open access to mobility services worldwide. The company said it currently has a global network of more than 2,000 certified partners.

The acquisition comes after Moovaz raised US$7 million in a series A funding round led by Quest Ventures in April. It previously secured US$1 million in seed funding from Mojo Partners in 2018, followed by an undisclosed amount of investment from Hustle Fund and two former 500 Startups partners last year.

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Daily Briefing: Moovaz acquires SPH publication The Finder

Singapore Business Review

Daily Briefing

From DealStreetAsia:

Logistics and international relocation service provider Moovaz has entered an agreement with media group Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to acquire its expat publication The Finder, according to an announcement.

The acquisition, which was completed in May, will add content and community-building to its service.

As part of the acquisition, Moovaz will take over the running of The Finder’s assets, including its quarterly print and digital magazines, The Finder Kids supplements, web content, as well as social media content in Singapore and Malaysia.

From Tech in Asia:

AI-powered knowledge management platform Intelllex has secured $2.94m (US$2.1m) in a funding round led by Quest Ventures. Thomson Reuters, Insignia Ventures, K3 Ventures, and a Singapore government-backed venture capital fund also participated, according to a statement.

Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah will join Intelllex’s board of directors following the startup’s latest funding round.

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First Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Online Demo Day crowns three student startups as winners

Singapore University of Social Sciences

A student startup that designed a mobile app which reads all types of barcodes and QR codes, and then automatically sends customised promotion alerts to customers won the Alibaba Cloud-Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) Online Demo Day recently.

Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, President of SUSS, said: “SUSS is proud to present another batch of entrepreneurs from our Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme. We believe in having multiple learning pathways at SUSS and this programme depicts one of the University’s many offerings for our students. Since it started in 2017, this Programme has help to create about 35 student startups, out of which 14 secured funding of more than $8 million. We look forward to helping more aspiring entrepreneurs – winning VC funding is the ultimate prize but going through the process is the transformation that we hope will take place.”

Mr Jeffrey Seah, Partner of Quest Ventures, and one of Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Demo Day 2020’s panel of judges, said, “Successful enterprises are born in times of scarcity. This is a good time for startups as the legacy advantage enjoyed by incumbents has been greatly eroded. Victory will belong to those who dare, and move with speed and purpose.”

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S$285m support for startups: Will vetting be stringent enough?

The Business Times

Quest Ventures Jeffrey Seah commented that “with investors allocating less money to new investments and some struggling with capital calls, even good startups might not be able to secure enough funding. A government co-investment scheme could help fill the gap.”

It is crucial that the standards for assessing such startups be extra-stringent. Those millions of dollars could have been directed towards more worthy causes during a downturn, instead of an ecosystem that in recent years has favoured blitz-scaling and cash-burning companies.

Joel Shen of DWF adds, “If the startup can’t raise money or finance its operations using its own cash flow, then it fails – just like any other business. What makes the startup more deserving of government support than other businesses?”

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Quest Ventures taps two sovereign wealth funds to help back regional start-ups

The Edge

Venture capital firm Quest Ventures’ first fund has helped back new digital economy start-ups like Carousell, ShopBack, Carro, StyleTheory and even the popular family of meme creator SGAG and its Malaysian and Philippines versions, MGAG and PGAG. Citing publicly available rankings, Quest Ventures says that this fund’s performance has put it in the top decile. The first fund has also returned more than 40% in internal rate of return so far.

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SoftBank concentration risk comes to the fore in Asia tech ecosystem

The Business Times

A few years ago, the entry of SoftBank’s Vision Fund into Asia heralded hope of a tech boom. But today, all eyes will be on how deep the Vision Fund’s losses run in SoftBank’s full-year results announcement, and whether there could be any rollover impact on its iconic portfolio companies in Asia, ranging from social media darling ByteDance to embattled hotel chain Oyo.

Last month, SoftBank revealed that it expects a massive 1.8 trillion yen (S$24.2 billion) loss in its US$100 billion Vision Fund for the year ended March, pushing the group into the red for the first time in 15 years.

James Tan, managing partner of Quest Ventures, added: “Concentration risk is real and founders will now be forced to de-risk themselves and their shareholders by diversifying their investor pool with more domain-knowledge investors for go-to-market challenges.”

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MBA经历助我创立风险投资公司——记MBA2008级校友陈中

清华大学经济管理学院

陈中(James Tan)对创业情有独钟。早在上世纪90年代第一次互联网泡沫时期,他就创建了自己的首个技术公司——一家库存图像平台公司。当时他还不能在祖国新加坡以外的地区扩展业务,公司发展遭遇了阻碍。30年后,陈中成为亚洲领先的风险投资公司之一——求索创投(Quest Ventures)的创始人和合伙人。

在成立不到10年的时间里,求索创投建立起遍布亚洲大陆150多个城市50多家公司的投资组合。2019年,求索创投开始募集两笔新资金,总额达1.2亿美元。

陈中(James Tan)把公司业务顺利拓展并成功进入获利颇丰的中国市场归功于他申请的清华全球MBA项目。该项目由清华大学经济管理学院和麻省理工学院斯隆管理学院联合办学。

“如果你希望像我一样进入一个新市场,我找不到比读MBA更好的选择,”他说。

陈中(James Tan)创立的首个公司被一家希望进军亚洲市场的美国公司收购。陈中说当时他对中国的情况不了解,也没有相关的人脉网络,不具备带领企业进入中国市场的能力。

陈中具有创业天赋,但他首先需要建立起在中国开展业务的人脉网络。为此,他知道自己要到中国去,花时间建立和发展人脉网络,然后才能尝试再次创业。

清华MBA是实现这个想法的完美机会,他说。

除了忙于课程和项目,陈中积极与同学和老师们交往。 “你可以学到很多东西,和大家一起玩,结交到很多朋友”。

通过MIT斯隆管理学院和清华经管学院联合开展的“中国实验室”项目,清华MBA的同学们与MIT斯隆管理学院的同学们联合组队,为中国的企业做为期半年的咨询项目,陈中参与其中并较为深入地了解了企业是如何在中国进行运营的。

“做生意同人脉息息相关,读MBA为建立人脉网络提供了环境,”陈中说。

陈中获得MBA学位后,在创办求索创投之前,他参与创建了窝窝营销(55tuan),这是一家纳斯达克上市的电子商务平台公司。 窝窝营销的第一批总经理中有一位是陈中在清华MBA的同班同学,公司里还有很多其他清华大学的校友。

陈中意识到很多中国初创公司最初都以模仿美国商业模式为主,如微博(中国版推特)和滴滴(中国版优步)等公司都以美国模式为起点,同时适应中国的实际情况。

陈中也同样以美国风险投资公司红杉资本(该公司已投资了苹果、Stripe和爱彼迎等公司)作为范例,希望求索创投能够效仿其模式并取得长期成功。但最重要的是,他希望自己的公司聚焦亚洲市场。

“我想在亚洲、为亚洲市场建立一个非常强大的风险投资公司,”陈中说。

求索创投最大的一个成功投资案例是旋转拍卖(Carousell)。旋转拍卖是电子商务平台公司,创设于新加坡,目前估值约8.5亿美元,业务已扩展到越南和整个东南亚。

陈中曾把公司业务只限于电子商务领域,现在他已将投资扩大到更广泛的数字经济领域,投资了诸如Haulio和Glife等初创公司。其中,Haulio专注于货运业数字化,而Glife专注于农产品在线贸易。

从MBA的学习以及在企业实践的头几年里,陈中对规模效应及其对初创企业成功的重要性深有体会。他把规模定义为两部分。

首先,这与市场复制有关,陈中解释说:“中国有400个大城市,一旦一个模式在北京推出,接着就可以在上海、天津等地复制。”

其次,是就规模本身而言,他继续说:“例如,如果你的业务在北京每月能够产生100万美元收益,那么您需要问自己一个问题,如何把在北京的收益迅速扩展到1000万美元?”

陈中说,他从MBA毕业时,就有了创立窝窝营销的计划并继而为创立求索创投奠定了基础,这两个初创公司的产生都受益于他读MBA期间建立的人脉网络。

“要进入一个崭新的市场,尤其像中国这样充满未知的市场,进而深入其生态系统,如果没有我在清华结识的朋友们,我是不可能成功的,”他说。

如今,陈中仍对清华大学的企业家精神记忆犹新。现在,与同学和老师们的往来联系仍影响着他,这持续终生的友谊也是他未来商业投资事业中不可或缺的一部分。

谈及他对创业者们的建议,他鼓励道:“如果你决心开始创业,志向一定要远大!”“要敢于将你的小型快闪店发展为7-11连锁店。”

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Quest Ventures เปิดระดมทุน Asia Fund II ตั้งเป้า 50 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐพร้อมรับทุนจากรัฐครั้งแรก

Techsauce

Quest Ventures บริษัทกองทุน venture capital ในเอเชียประกาศการรับสนับสนุนส่วนแรกของกองทุนที่สองของบริษัทที่ชื่อว่า Asia Fund II ที่ตั้งเป้าไว้ในมูลค่า 50 ล้านเหรียญสหรัฐ ซึ่งการระดมทุนส่วนแรกนี้ได้ร่วมระดมทุนไปเกินกว่าครึ่งของเป้าหมายแล้ว

กองทุน Fund I ของ Quest Ventures ได้ร่วมลงทุนในบริษัท Startup ประกอบด้วย Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/ MGAG/ PGAG, Glife, Xfers และอื่นๆ โดยผลประกอบการของกองทุน Fund I อยู่ในอันดับต้นๆ เมื่อเทียบกับกองทุนร่วมลงทุนอื่นในอันดับที่เปิดเผยต่อสาธารณะสำหรับ Fund II ปัจจุบัน Quest Ventures ได้รับการสนับสนุนจากผู้ประกอบการ ผู้บริหารระดับสูงสุด ผู้ก่อตั้งธุรกิจครอบครัวในเอเชีย สำนักงานครอบครัว และนักลงทุนสถาบัน ในอุตสาหกรรมและสัญชาติต่างๆมากมายในหลายประเทศ

ครั้งนี้นักลงทุนสถาบันที่มีชื่อเสียงสองแห่งได้เข้าร่วมในกองทุนนี้ นั่นคือ Pavilion Capital จากกลุ่ม Temasek ของสิงคโปร์ และ QazTech Ventures จากรัฐบาลคาซัคสถาน Pavilion Capital เป็นบริษัทลงทุนที่ตั้งอยู่ในสิงคโปร์ ซึ่งได้ลงทุนในกองทุนในเอเชียเหนือและเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้

“เราเชื่อว่าโอกาสในเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้กำลังเติบโตเป็นอย่างมากและเราตั้งเป้าหมายที่จะมีบทบาทสำคัญในระบบนิเวศของ venture captital ในภูมิภาค (ร่วมกับ Quest Ventures)” Mr. Tow Heng Tan, CEO ของ Pavilion Capital กล่าว

โครงการเศรษฐกิจระดับชาติของคาซัคสถานได้เห็นโอกาสทางธุรกิจที่เพิ่มขึ้นระหว่างเอเชียกลางและเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ การลงทุนครั้งนี้ถือเป็นการลงทุนครั้งแรกของกองทุนความมั่งคั่งแห่งชาติของประเทศคาซัคสถาน (Sovereign Wealth Fund) ในกองทุน venture capital ในเอเชีย และเห็นว่าประสบการณ์ของ Quest Ventures ในการพัฒนาระบบนิเวศนวัตกรรมจะเป็นส่วนสำคัญในการพัฒนาความร่วมมือระหว่างประเทศเอเชียที่กำลังพัฒนา

“การร่วมมือกันของคาซัคสถานกับกองทุนร่วมลงทุนชั้นนำของสิงคโปร์ถือเป็นขั้นตอนสำคัญในการรวมระบบนิเวศที่เป็นนวัตกรรมใหม่ของเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้และเอเชียกลาง การที่เราได้เป็นหุ้นส่วนกับ Quest Ventures และ Pavilion Capital นี้จะช่วยให้สตาร์ทอัพในคาซัคสถานมีโอกาสในการได้รับกาลงทุนมากขึ้น ได้รับความช่วยเพิ่มขีดความสามารถจากประสบการณ์ของ Quest Ventures และยังมีโอกาสเข้าถึงตลาดโลกได้มากขึ้น” Mr. Adil Nurgozhin, ประธานกรรมการบริหารของ QazTech Ventures กองทุนความมั่งคั่งแห่งคาซัคสถานกล่าว

ปัจจัยที่สำคัญที่ทำให้ venture capital ของเราต่างจากกองทุนอื่นๆ คือประสบการณ์ทำงานในฐานะผู้บริหารชั้นสูงของ general partners “เราได้พิจารณาในเรื่องการเลือกนักลงทุนของเราอย่างละเอียดรอบคอบ เนื่องจากเราให้ความสำคัญกับทั้งผลการดำเนินงานและผลทางการเงิน ในฐานะที่เราเองเป็นผู้ประกอบการและผู้บริหารมาก่อนที่จะมาเป็นผันตัวเองมาเป็นนักลงทุน ทำให้เรามีประสบการณ์ที่หลากหลายอุตสาหกรรมและสาขาอาชีพ เราหวังจะนำเอาทักษะที่แตกต่าง รวมถึงประสบการณ์และความสัมพันธ์ต่างๆ มาช่วยพัฒนาบริษัทที่เราเข้าไปลงทุนด้วย” Ms. Goh Yiping หุ้นส่วนของ Quest Ventures กล่าว

กองทุนที่สองของ Quest Ventures จะลงทุนในธุรกิจสตาร์ทอัพในเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้และตลาดเกิดใหม่ในเอเชียที่ระดับ Post-Seed และ Series A ซึ่งปัจจุบันเราได้ลงทุนไปแล้วในประเทศที่มีการเติบโตของเศรษฐกิจอย่างรวดเร็ว เช่น เวียดนาม และทางกองทุนจะการสร้างความแข็งแกร่งและขยายการลงทุนไปยังประเทศอื่นๆ ในเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ต่อไป เช่น ประเทศไทย อินโดนีเซีย พม่า และฟิลิปปินส์ นอกจากนี้ยังจะเปิดตัว accelerator ในคาซัคสถานเพื่อให้การสนับสนุนการเริ่มต้นเศรษฐกิจดิจิตอลในภูมิภาคให้เป็นไปอย่างก้าวกระโดด ทั้งนี้ Quest Ventures จะสนับสนุนผู้ก่อตั้งที่มีความตั้งใจที่จะขับเคลื่อนเศรษฐกิจด้วยโมเดลธุรกิจแนวใหม่ที่สามารถสร้างคุณค่าและมูลค่าอย่างยั่งยืนให้กับลูกค้าปลายทางได้

“จากที่ตัวผมมีประสบการณ์จากธุรกิจสื่อและการโฆษณา ผมได้เห็นอุตสาหกรรมของโลกการสื่อสาทางการตลาดและการโฆษณาที่ได้ถูกดิสรับมาก่อนอย่างต่อเนื่อง ผมเห็นว่ามุมมองที่แตกต่างระหว่างภาคธุรกิจของใหญ่และสตาร์ทอัพ เป็นความความแตกต่างในเชิงมุมมองมากกว่าความเป็นจริง ที่ Quest Ventures เราสนับสนุนและเน้นให้ธุรกิจใหญ่ๆทำงานเป็นพันธมิตรกับสตาร์ทอัพมากกว่า proofs-of-concept เพราะเราเห็นว่าแม้จุดเริ่มต้นอาจแตกต่างกัน แต่วัตถุประสงค์ของทั้งสองฝ่านคือความอยู่รอดและรูปแบบธุรกิจที่ยั่งยืนที่สามารถขยายเติบโตได้อย่างต่อเนื่อง เราเห็นว่าเรื่องนี้เป็นสิ่งที่ทางฝ่ายธุรกิจเห็นพ้องต้องกัน เนื่องจากทาง Quest Ventures ได้การสนับสนุนจากผู้บริหาร C-suites ในธุรกิจใหญ่และธุรกิจครอบครัวมากมายในเอเชียในฐานะนักลงทุน เพื่อหวังผลตอบแทนทางการเงินและการเปลี่ยนแปลงทางธุรกิจในโลกธุรกิจดิจิตอลที่ซับซ้อนและมีความผันผวนสูง” Mr. Jeffrey Seah หุ้นส่วนของ Quest Ventures กล่าว

แม้จะมีการเรียกกองทุนนี้ว่า Quest Ventures Asia Fund II แต่มันเป็นกองทุนแรกที่ได้รับการสนับสนุนจากนักลงทุนสถาบันของ Quest Ventures โดยเงินทุนก้อนแรกเป็นเงินลงทุนที่ได้มาจากเงินทุนส่วนตัวของหุ้นส่วนและผู้จัดการใหญ่ Mr. James Tan

“เนื่องด้วยเศรษฐกิจดิจิตอลกำลังเติบโตทั่วโลก ทำให้ปัจจุบันอุตสาหกรรมกองทุนร่วมลงทุน venture captial ในเอเชียเข้ามามีบทบาทสำคัญในการทำให้ภาครัฐและเอกชนมีความใกล้ชิดกันยิ่งขึ้น นอกจากผลตอบแทนทางการเงินที่ดีแล้ว นักลงทุนยังมองหาการสร้างมูลค่าที่ได้จากโมเดลธุรกิจใหม่ที่สร้างขึ้นบนพื้นฐานที่แข็งแกร่งอีกด้วย โดยถือแนวทางการลงทุนของเราได้รับการตอบรับเป็นอย่างดีจากการที่ทาง Quest Ventures ได้ร่วมลงทุนในบริษัทสตาร์ทอัพมากว่า 50 รายผ่านกองทุนแรกของเรา ทางเราขอขอบคุณในความเชื่อที่นักลงทุนมีต่อเรา” Mr. James Tan หุ้นส่วนผู้จัดการของ Quest Ventures กล่าว

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Quest Ventures宣佈其五千萬美元風險投資基金的第一次的閉市

联合日报

Quest Ventures宣佈其五千萬美元venture capital fund風險投資基金的first close。Quest Ventures為亞洲的頭號創業投資公司。

第一次的閉市(first close)代表於第二筆基金的逾半數目標。

Quest Ventures Fund I第一筆基金包括Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/ MGAG/ PGAG, Glife, Xfers, and others第一筆金喏與公開列級的創業投資比較,可視為首選。

至於第二筆基金(Fund II),Quest Ventures如今得到各企業家的支持。支持者也包括以下階層:C-suite executives, Asia family business founders, family offices, and institutional investors across more than a dozen industries and nationalities。

有兩家有名望的投資者參與Quest Ventures的基金。其一為Pavilion Capital(新加坡)與QazTech Ventures(哈薩克斯坦)。Pavilion Capital在北亞與東南亞有基金的後盾,而這是Qaztech在亞洲的首次投資風險創業投資。

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Singapore’s Quest Ventures leads $7m Series A round in Moovaz

DealStreetAsia

Singapore-based logistics startup Moovaz has officially announced that Quest Ventures led its $7 million Series A round that was announced earlier with Supply Chain Angels, SGInnovate, other strategic investors as well as earlier convertibles.

According to an announcement, Quest Ventures’s latest fund which is participating in the Moovaz investment is backed by institutional investors that include the sovereign wealth funds of Singapore and Kazakhstan.

Founded in 2017 by Lee Junxian and Jerry Chua, Moovaz specialises in relocation, logistics, freight and also warehousing solutions.

Using smart technology and through its global network of over 2,000 certified partners, Moovaz is designed to offer customers an unprecedented level of transparency and open access to global mobility services worldwide.

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Logistics startup Moovaz raises US$7m in Series A round led by Quest Ventures

The Business Times

SINGAPORE-BASED Moovaz has raised US$7 million in a Series A funding round led by venture capital firm Quest Ventures.

The funding round saw the participation of other investors such as government-owned deep-tech investor SGInnovate and Supply Chain Angels (SCAngels) – the corporate venture arm of homegrown logistics player YCH Group.

Both had previously made investments of undisclosed amounts in the logistics startup.

The startup will use funds raised to tap the burgeoning Asia relocation market. It also looks to disrupt the traditional moving industry, Moovaz announced on Monday.

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Moovaz:服務全球流動人士的物流初創企業進行700萬美元A輪融資

Yahoo! 新聞

一旦流動性強的專業人士在人口結構中居於主導地位,那麼外籍人士群體的面貌就會發生很大的變化,這個群體幾乎可以吸納所有人,包括富有自由精神、精通科技、四海為家、渴望體驗全世界的新一代冒險家,而 Moovaz 能夠幫助他們夢想成真。在智能技術的支持下,Moovaz 能夠憑藉面向新一代外籍人士的簡單和高效搬遷服務,對物流予以重新想像,該公司為了實現這一點,已經進行了總金額為700萬美元(包括之前的可轉換債券)的 A 輪融資。

在智能技術的支持下,Moovaz 能夠憑藉面向新一代外籍人士的簡單和高效搬遷服務,對物流予以重新想像,該公司為了實現這一點,已經進行了總金額為700萬美元(包括之前的可轉換債券)的 A 輪融資。

由于客户主要是来自于亚太地区,Moovaz 计划迅速扩大规模与扩展合作基础。现在,在 Quest Ventures(求索创投,由新加坡主权财富基金支持)、供应链企业集团叶水福集团 (YCH Group) 和深科技投资者 SGInnovate 等机构的支持下,这一点能够实现,而且还能有所突破,Moovaz 坚定地着眼于加强其服务和设施,以便成为搬迁领域的行业领导者。

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Quest Ventures leads $7m round for logistics startup Moovaz

Tech in Asia

The mobility industry, which is estimated to be worth US$80.2 billion globally, is plagued by opacity, manual processes, and a convoluted supply chain, according to Moovaz, a Singapore-based logistics startup that aims to revolutionize the sector.

For the relocation industry, customers tend to get price-discriminated due to the lack of transparency. Processes are also cumbersome, expensive, and slow due to a lack of digitalization, Junxian Lee, the founder and CEO of Moovaz, told Tech in Asia.

The startup just formally announced that it has received backing from venture capital firm Quest Ventures, the lead investor in its US$7 million series A funding round. Other investors include Supply Chain Angels and SGInnovate, among others.

Moovaz joins Quest Ventures’ portfolio which includes familiar startups such as Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, Glife, Xfers, and others. The Singapore-based VC firm recently hit the first close of its US$50 million fund aimed at post-seed and series A opportunities across Southeast Asia.

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Moovaz:服务全球流动人士的物流初创企业进行700万美元A轮融资

精明理财

Moovaz 联合创始人、首席执行官李俊贤表示:“从一个国家搬迁到另一个国家,是一项很大的物流工作。你必须将所有东西都‘连根拔起’,处理好食宿和旅行计划问题,申请签证,开立新的银行账户。基本上你的整个生活都要进行迁移。尽管现在出现了各种技术上的创新,但是搬迁服务依然出了名的慢,而且代价不菲,缺乏效率。当全世界实现开放之际,这些挑战需要加以妥善应对。我们的目标是利用创新,为世界公民提供完整的搬迁解决方案,消除搬迁时所带来的令人头痛的问题。”

由于客户主要是来自于亚太地区,Moovaz 计划迅速扩大规模与扩展合作基础。现在,在 Quest Ventures(求索创投,由新加坡主权财富基金支持)、供应链企业集团叶水福集团 (YCH Group) 和深科技投资者 SGInnovate 等机构的支持下,这一点能够实现,而且还能有所突破,Moovaz 坚定地着眼于加强其服务和设施,以便成为搬迁领域的行业领导者。

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Quest Ventures, Umumkan Penutupan Pertama Modal Ventura 50 juta USD

Katakini

Quest Ventures, perusahaan modal ventura ternama di Asia, mengumumkan penyelesaian penutupan pertama untuk dana modal ventura 50 juta USD. Penutupan pertama ini mencakup lebih dari setengah target dana untuk dana keduanya, yang bernama Asia Fund II.

Investasi Quest Ventures Fund I antara lain Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG / MGAG / PGAG, Glife, Xfers, dan lain-lain. Performa Fund I berada di peringkat sepuluh teratas dibandingkan dengan peringkat publik untuk dana modal ventura.

Dengan Fund II, Quest Ventures sekarang mendapatkan dukungan wirausahawan, eksekutif C-suite, pendiri bisnis keluarga Asia, kantor keluarga, dan investor institusional di lebih dari puluhan industri dan negara.

Dua investor institusional penting berpartisipasi dalam dana ini – Pavilion Capital dari Singapura, dan QazTech Ventures dari Kazakhstan. Pavilion Capital adalah perusahaan investasi Singapura yang telah mendukung dan di Asia Utara dan Asia Tenggara.

“Kami yakin bahwa peluang di Asia Tenggara sedang bertumbuh, dan kami ingin memainka peran penting dalam ekosistem modal ventura disini (bekerja bersama Quest Ventures),” kata Tow Heng Tan, Chief Executive Officer dari Pavilion Capital.

Inisiatif perekonomian dalam negeri di Kazakhstan telah meningkatkan aktivitas bisnis antara Asia Tengah dan Asia Tenggara. Ini adalah investment pertama Sovereign Wealth Fund dalam dana modal usaha di Asia, dan telah terlihat dari pengalaman Quest Ventures di perkembangan Asia dan di ekosistem yg inovasinya masih berkembang.

“Kerjasama Kazakhstan dengan dana ventura terbaik Singapura adalah langkah penting dalam menyatukan ekosistem inovatif Asia Tenggara dan Asia Tengah,” kata Adil Nurghozin, Ketua Dewan Direktur di QazTech Ventures, dana kekayaan berdaulat Kazakhstan.

Katanya lagi, “kerjasama dengan Quest Ventures dan Pavilion Capital akan memungkinkan start-up Kazakhstan untuk mengamankan investasi penting, meningkatkan kompetensi, dan mendapatkan akses ke pasar global,” ujar Adil.

Rekam jejak operasional partner umm adalah faktor penting yang membedakan dana ini dari yang lain. “Kami tidak tergesa-gesa memilih investor kami karena kami menghargai kontribusi finansial dan operasional,” ujar Goh Yiping, Partner di Quest Ventures.

“Sebagai operator sebelum menjadi investor, kami sangat mengapresiasi apa yang bisa diberikan tim yang beragam. Dengan dana ini, kami mengharapkan bisa membawa berbagai keahlian, pengalaman dalam domain dan koneksi untuk membantu perusahaan kami,” kata Goh Yiping, Partner di Quest Ventures.

Dana akan berinvestasi di start-up di seluruh Asia Tenggara dan Asia berkembang di tahap Post Seed dan Series A. Sudah hadir di ekonomi dengan pertumbuhan pesat seperti Vietnam, juga akan menguatkan dan memperluas jejaknya ke negara Asia Tenggara lain seperti Indonesia , Myanmar dan Filipina.

Juga akan meluncurkan akselerator di Kazakhstan untuk memicu ekonomi digital negara. Quest Ventures akan terus mendukung para pendiri
dengan model bisnis disruptif yang dapat menciptakan nilai berkelanjutan yang baru kepada pelanggan akhir.

“Datang dari industri disrupsi asli di dunia komunikasi iklan dan pemasaran, saya telah menyaksikan bagaimana bisnis dan startup saling memandang secara berbeda. Jurang operasional antara bisnis dan start-up lebih ke dalam hal persepsi.

“Di Quest Ventures, kami mendorong bisnis untuk bekerjasama dengan startup lebih dari sekedar bukti konsep. Walaupun titik awalnya berbeda, tujuan bersamanya adalah kemampuan untuk bertahan, dan model bisnis berkelanjutan yang dapat diskalakan,” kata Jeffrey Seah, Partner di Quest Ventures, dan veteran transformasi digital.

“Kami sangat senang bahwa banyak C-suite dan bisnis keluarga Asia telah bergabung sebagai investor – untuk pengembalian finansial dan transformasi bisnis dalam dunia bisnis yang semakin kompleks dan bergolak,” kata Jeffrey Seah

Walaupun kendaraan dananya disebut Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, ini adalah dana dukungan institusional pertama Quest Ventures. Dana pertamanya diinvestasikan dari modal pribadi partner pengelolanya, James Tan.

“Seiring ekonomi digital semakin dewasa di seluruh dunia, industri modal ventura di Asia sekarang siap untuk memainkan peran mainstream untuk menyatukan publik dan pasar privat,” kata Tn James Tan, Partner Pengelola di Quest Ventures.

Selain pengembalian finansial yang besar, investor mencari penciptaan nilai yang berasal dari model bisnis yang dibangun diatas fundamental yang kuat. “Pendekatan kami telah divalidasi oleh lebih dari 50 perusahaan portofolio di dana pertama. Kami sangat menghargai kepercayaan yang diberikan oleh para investor,” kata James Tan.

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Quest Ventures Amankan Pendanaan Tahap Pertama untuk Asia Fund II

DailySocial

Quest Ventures mengumumkan telah penutupan venture capital fund tahap pertama dengan dana terkumpul sebesar $50 juta atau setara dengan Rp778 miliar. Jumlah ini diklaim telah melebihi separuh target pendanaan untuk Asia Fund II.

Sebelumnya, di Asia Fund I, Quest Ventures cukup aktif dalam mencari startup yang berpotensi untuk tumbuh. Nama-nama seperti Carousell, Shopback, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/MGAG/PGAG, Glife, Xfers, dan lainnya masuk dalam portofolionya. Di Asia Fund II ini Quest Ventures mendapat dukungan dari banyak pihak, termasuk Pavillion Capital dari Singapura dan QazTech Ventures dari Kazakhstan.

DailySocial berkesempatan berbincang dengan Quest Ventures tentang fokus perusahaan. Indonesia masuk dalam radar Asia Fund II ini. Dinilai sebagai salah satu negara dengan lanskap teknologi yang berkembang, Indonesia telah berhasil membuktikan diri dengan melahirkan unicorn. Beberapa industri seperti e-commerce, ride hailing dan fintech secara bergantian mulai dikenal luas dan memberikan dampak di masyarkat.

Pemerintah yang memasukkan ekonomi digital sebagai salah satu pilar pertumbuhan bersama dengan industri bahan baku, minyak, kelapa sawit, dan tekstil juga menjadi salah satu salah tanda bahwa teknologi sedang berkembang dinegara ini.

“Kami berharap dampak yang lebih besar akan terlihat di EdTech, Healthcare, mungkin Agritech dan bahkan topik lama e-commerce masih menyimpang peluang di dalam enabler dan ekosistem perdagangan, seperti offline ke online, omnichannel, dan lainnya. Kami telah melihat beberapa contoh sukses pemain seperti itu di sektor-sektor yang disebutkan dan berharap mereka terus tumbuh,” terang Yiping.

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Quest Ventures secures US$50m to aid in Indonesia expansion

Marketing Interactive

Venture capital firm Quest Ventures has secured the first close of its US$50 million fund. According to the company, the fund will be invested in start-ups across Southeast Asia and emerging Asia such as Vietnam, as well as expanding its footprint in Indonesia, Myanmar and The Philippines.

Quest Ventures has previously invested its funds with Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/ MGAG/ PGAG, Glife, Xfers, and others. With the recent funding, the company now has the support of entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, Asia family business founders, family offices, and institutional investors across more than a dozen industries and nationalities. Two of the institutional investors that participated in the fund include Singapore-based investment firm Pavilion Capital, and QazTech Ventures from Kazakhstan.

Goh Yiping, partner at Quest Ventures said the company aims to bring different skill sets, domain experience and connections to help firms. While, Jeffrey Seah, partner at Quest Ventures, added at Quest Ventures, the firm encourages established businesses to partner with startups beyond proofs-of-concept, as the common objective is survivability, and sustainable business models that can scale.

“As the digital economy matures across the world, the venture capital industry in Asia is now poised to play a mainstream role to bring the public and private markets closer. Besides robust financial returns, investors look for value creation derived from business models built on strong fundamentals. Our approach has been validated by more than 50 portfolio companies in the first fund. We are humbled by the belief that our investors have in us,” said James Tan, managing partner at Quest Ventures.

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Asia’s Quest Ventures plans to invest in Indonesia

The Jakarta Post

Singapore-based venture capital Quest Ventures plans to expand its investment to Indonesia, among other Southeast Asian countries, after recently announcing the first close of a fund worth US$50 million.

The amount represented more than half of its target for the fund named Asia Fund II. It will be invested in post-seed and series A stages funding in start-ups across Southeast Asia and emerging Asia such as Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines.

Quest Ventures has been deploying capital in Singapore and Vietnam with its portfolio, including as second-hand e-commerce platform Carousell, property finding platform 99.co and rental fashion StyleTheory.

“We were deliberate in selecting our investors and we hope with this fund we can bring different skill sets, domain experience and connections to help our companies,” said Goh Yiping, partner at Quest Ventures.

Asia Fund II was Quest Ventures’ first institutionally backed fund, receiving financing from Pavilion Capital from Singapore and QazTech Ventures, Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund subsidiary.

The funding marked Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund’s first investment in a venture capital fund in Asia.

“This partnership with Quest Ventures and Pavilion Capital will enable Kazakhstani start-ups to secure important investments, improve competencies and gain access to global markets,” said Adil Nurgozhin, chairman of the board of directors at QazTech Ventures.

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Singapore’s Quest Closes First Round of $50 Million Venture Fund

Venture Pulse

Quest Ventures, a Singapore venture capital firm, said it completed the first close of a planned $50 million fund.

Quest, founded by James Tan, raised the money from investors including Pavilion Capital of Singapore and QazTech Ventures of Kazakhstan. It’s the firm’s second venture fund and its first time tapping institutional investors, after Tan financed the first fund with his own money. [ Bloomberg ]

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Singapore’s Quest Ventures secures first close of $50m fund

Nikkei Asian Review

Singapore-based venture capital group Quest Ventures has secured the first close of its $50 million fund, according to a statement.

More than half of the target corpus has already been raised with its limited partners (LPs) comprising Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund subsidiary QazTech Ventures, and multiple family offices and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Quest Ventures Asia Fund II is Quest’s first institutionally backed fund. Its previous fund was invested out of the personal capital of James Tan, its managing partner and co-founder of Nasdaq-listed Chinese e-commerce company, 55tuan.

Quest Ventures will target early-stage startups in Southeast Asia and emerging Asia, and sees itself expanding into markets such as Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines. It has been actively deploying capital in Singapore and Vietnam, with its portfolio including names like Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/ MGAG/ PGAG, Glife and Xfers.

“As the digital economy matures across the world, the venture capital industry in Asia is now poised to play a mainstream role to bring the public and private markets closer. Besides robust financial returns, investors look for value creation derived from business models built on strong fundamentals…We are humbled by the belief that our investors have in us,” said James Tan, managing partner at Quest Ventures.

QazTech Ventures was recently reported to be committing $10 million to the fund, making Quest Ventures its first Asian investment on an LP basis. Its participation will see Quest Ventures roll out a Kazakh startup acceleration program called Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator to nurture tech startups in Kazakhstan and Central Asia over the next three years.

“This partnership with Quest Ventures and Pavilion Capital will enable Kazakhstani start-ups to secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” said Adil Nurgozhin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at QazTech Ventures, the Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund.

Quest Ventures has been steadily expanding its team to manage the growth of its venture business. In March 2019, it appointed two partners – Goh Yiping and Jeffrey Seah – to oversee its portfolio of over 40 companies.

According to Quest Ventures’ website, the company also runs innovation labs and corporate accelerators, serving a global list of clients such as Nissan Motor, VMWare, Yahoo, HP, Tencent, and Coca-Cola.

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Kazakhstan eyes Asia start-ups

Vestnik Kavkaza

Kazakhstan’s government will invest in start-ups across south-east Asia as part of efforts to diversify central Asia’s largest economy away from oil and gas, where prices have been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic, Financial Times writes in the article Kazakhstan eyes Asia start-ups as coronavirus hits oil price. The country’s state wealth fund, Baiterek National Managing Holdings, will be the anchor investor in a vehicle run by Singapore-based Quest Ventures. The fund has also been backed by Pavilion Capital, which is owned by Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state investment company.

At $50m, the fund is small but it forms part of a broader push to create an economic corridor between central and south-east Asia. Adil Nurgozhin, chairman of Baiterek subsidiary QazTech Ventures, called the deal an “important step” in connecting the regions’ economies.

Kazakhstan, sandwiched between regional powers China and Russia, is looking to diversify its portfolio investments into different parts of the world, according to people familiar with the situation. The move into venture capital comes as oil-rich economies, such as those in the Middle East, have sought to broaden their revenue sources against a backdrop of volatile crude prices and a broader shift away from fossil fuels.

Oil and related industries make up about 40 per cent of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product and its economy has been hit by a recent slump in crude prices and the coronavirus outbreak.

Kazakhstan’s government was previously linked with an investment in Japanese conglomerate SoftBank’s second Vision Fund, which could have given the country exposure to technology start-ups across the globe. However, that vehicle was permanently frozen this week after SoftBank warned of a $16.7bn loss for its first Vision Fund. Kazakhstan also held talks about an investment in SoftBank’s planned multibillion-dollar hedge fund-style vehicle.

“Digital transformation has been greatly accelerated by the Covid-19 outbreak” Jeffrey Seah, Quest Ventures SoftBank’s woes, coupled with a fall in start-up valuations following the failed initial public offering of office sharing company WeWork last year, have prompted some big investors to turn to alternative venture capital players. “Post WeWork, investors are turning to experienced operators to identify and guide start-ups,” said Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah.

The Quest Ventures fund will invest in start-ups in countries including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. “It will be about building a quality business rather than [attracting] high valuations,” he added. The fund has been backed by Pavilion Capital, which is owned by Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state investment company.

Mr Seah said it was the “right time” to invest in start-ups in the region, given many were being forced to boost their online offerings because of coronavirus stay-at-home measures. “Businesses’ digital transformation has been greatly accelerated by the Covid-19 outbreak — when the virus is over these new habits will remain,” he added.

Baiterek’s assets equalled about $15bn, or 8 per cent of Kazakhstan’s 2018 GDP, according to Fitch Ratings.

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SG’s Quest Ventures secures first close of $50m fund backed by Pavilion Capital, QazTech Ventures

DealStreetAsia

Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures has secured the first close of its $50 million fund, according to a statement.

More than half of the target corpus has already been raised with its limited partners (LPs) comprising Temasek’s Pavilion Capital, Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund subsidiary QazTech Ventures, and multiple family offices and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Quest Ventures Asia Fund II is Quest’s first institutionally-backed fund. Its previous fund was invested out of the personal capital of James Tan, its managing partner and co-founder of Nasdaq-listed Chinese e-commerce company, 55tuan.

Quest Ventures will target early-stage startups in Southeast Asia and emerging Asia, and sees itself expanding into markets such as Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines. It has been actively deploying capital in Singapore and Vietnam, with its portfolio including names like Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/ MGAG/ PGAG, Glife and Xfers.

“As the digital economy matures across the world, the venture capital industry in Asia is now poised to play a mainstream role to bring the public and private markets closer. Besides robust financial returns, investors look for value creation derived from business models built on strong fundamentals…We are humbled by the belief that our investors have in us,” said James Tan, managing partner at Quest Ventures.

QazTech Ventures was recently reported to be committing $10 million to the fund, making Quest Ventures its first Asian investment on an LP basis. Its participation will see Quest Ventures roll out a Kazakh startup acceleration programme called Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator to nurture tech startups in Kazakhstan and Central Asia over the next three years.

“This partnership with Quest Ventures and Pavilion Capital will enable Kazakhstani start-ups to secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” said Adil Nurgozhin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at QazTech Ventures, the Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund.

Quest Ventures has been steadily expanding its team to manage the growth of its venture business. In March 2019, it appointed two partners – Goh Yiping and Jeffrey Seah – to oversee its portfolio of over 40 companies.

According to Quest Ventures’s website, the firm also runs innovation labs and corporate accelerators, serving a global list of clients such as Nissan, VMWare, Yahoo, HP, Tencent, and Coca Cola.

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Venture capital firm Quest Ventures on target to raise US$50m for its second start-up fund

The Straits Times

Pavilion Capital, a subsidiary of Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings, and Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund QazTech Ventures have already invested in the Asia Fund II, said Quest Ventures on Thursday (April 16).

The Asia Fund II will back 40 to 60 start-ups in South-east Asia and emerging Asia markets, with investments of between US$500,000 to US$1 million.

The venture firm said it will continue to back driven founders with disruptive business models that can create sustainable value for customers.

Quest Ventures has previously invested in a range of start-ups, including cashback platform ShopBack, property search portal 99.co and online marketplace operator Carousell.

Quest Ventures managing partner James Tan said: “As the digital economy matures across the world, the venture capital industry in Asia is now poised to play a mainstream role to bring the public and private markets closer.”

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Quest Ventures raises USD 50 million for investments in Southeast and Central Asia

KrASIA

Quest Ventures said this is its first institutionally backed fund, with the notable participation of two anchor LPs—Singapore’s Pavilion Capital and the Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund, QazTech Ventures.

With this new funding, Quest Ventures will specifically seek out portfolio companies that are in the post-seed and Series A stages, while expanding its footprint in fast-growing Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines. It will also launch an accelerator in Kazakhstan to jump-start the region’s digital economy.

“We are encouraged that numerous C-suites and Asian family businesses have joined us as investors for both financial and business transformation returns in an increasingly complex and turbulent business world,” said Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Quest Ventures, in a media statement.

Speaking to KrASIA, Seah said startups should not hibernate during the COVID-19 crisis. He emphasized that this could be a good time for direct-to-customer and SaaS businesses to raise funds.

“The founders’ mettle will be severely tested, so will the dexterity and fortitude of their investors. Whether these startup businesses have been built on investment trends or actual customer benefit, the market will now do the due diligence on their business—in real time,” Seah added.

Founded in 2011, Quest Ventures has a track record of being an early investor of startups that have become households names, including Carousell, Shopback, 99.c0, and Carro. Last year, Carousell merged with 701Search to cement its dominant position in the Southeast Asian online classifieds market, taking the company’s valuation to more than USD 850 million. In March, Shopback notched USD 75 million in an extended fundraising round.

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Singapore’s Quest Ventures Closes First Round of US$50M Fund

Jumpstart Magazine

Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures has announced the first close of its new US$50 million VC fund named Asia Fund II, in a company statement today. The new fund is backed by Singapore’s Pavilion Capital and QazTech Ventures from Kazakhstan, along with support from entrepreneurs, C-Suite executives, Asia family business founders, family offices, and institutional investors across more than a dozen industries and nationalities.

Already present in fast-growing economies such as Vietnam, the fund will strengthen and expand its footprint in other Southeast Asian nations such as Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines, according to the statement.

The fund’s investment thesis lies in backing emerging South Asian startups that have scalability and replicability in large Internet communities. According to the official report, the fund will invest in startups at the post-Seed and Series A stages, and back driven founders with disruptive business models that can create new sustainable value to the end customer.

“Coming from the original disruption industry of the advertising and marketing communications world, I have witnessed how established businesses and startups view each other differently. This operational chasm between established businesses and start-ups was more perceived than real. At Quest Ventures, we encourage established businesses to partner with startups beyond proofs-of-concept. Although the starting points may be different, the common objective is survivability, and sustainable business models that can scale,” said Quest Ventures Partner Jeffrey Seah.

According to a Quest analyst Michelle Quek, the fund will be focus on investing in the digital economy including sectors like ecommerce, data, deep tech, entertainment, esports, fintech, foodtech, retail tech, and others.

Although the new fund is called Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, it is Quest’s first institutionally-backed fund since the first fund was invested out of the personal capital of its Managing Partner James Tan.

According to The Straits Times, the fund will reach its target of $50 million by April 2021 and will back 40 to 60 startups in Southeast Asia and emerging Asian markets, with investments between $500,000 and $1 million.

Quest Ventures Fund I has invested in a range of startups, including cashback platform ShopBack, property search portal 99.co and online marketplace for secondhand goods Carousell, which is valued at $850 million. The first fund has returned over 40% so far, Seah told Bloomberg.

Moreover, Kazakhstan’s national economic initiatives have seen increased business activities between Central Asia and Southeast Asia. For Qaztech, Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, this is the first investment in a VC fund in Asia. It is aiming to tap into Quest Ventures’ experience in emerging Asia and in developing innovation ecosystems.

“The cooperation of Kazakhstan with Singapore’s leading venture fund is an important step in bringing together the innovative ecosystems of Southeast Asia and Central Asia. This partnership with Quest Ventures and Pavilion Capital will enable Kazakhstani start-ups to secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” said Mr Adil Nurgozhin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at QazTech Ventures.

Additionally, Quest is also set to launch an accelerator program in Kazakhstan to provide a head start to the country’s digital economy.

“As the digital economy matures across the world, the venture capital industry in Asia is now poised to play a mainstream role to bring the public and private markets closer. Besides robust financial returns, investors look for value creation derived from business models built on strong fundamentals. Our approach has been validated by more than 50 portfolio companies in the first fund. We are humbled by the belief that our investors have in us,” said Tan.

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Quest Ventures announces first close of new fund anchored by two institutional investors

Bangkok Post

Quest Ventures, a top-ranked venture capital firm in Asia, announced the first close completion for its $50 million venture capital fund.

Quest Ventures Fund I investments include Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, SGAG/ MGAG/ PGAG, Glife, Xfers, and others. The performance of Fund I is in the top decile when compared against publicly available rankings for venture capital funds.

With Fund II, Quest Ventures now has the support of entrepreneurs, C-suite executives, Asia family business founders, family offices, and institutional investors across more than a dozen industries and nationalities.

Two notable institutional investors participated in the fund – Pavilion Capital from Singapore, and QazTech Ventures from Kazakhstan. Pavilion Capital is a Singapore-based investment firm that has backed funds in North Asia and Southeast Asia.

“We believe that opportunities in Southeast Asia are growing, and we aim to play an important role in the venture capital ecosystem here (working with Quest Ventures),” said Mr Tow Heng Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Pavilion Capital.

Kazakhstan’s national economic initiatives have seen increased business activities between Central Asia and Southeast Asia. This is its sovereign wealth fund’s first investment in a venture capital fund in Asia, and is widely seen to be tapping into Quest Ventures’ experience in emerging Asia and in developing innovation ecosystems.

“The cooperation of Kazakhstan with Singapore’s leading venture fund is an important step in bringing together the innovative ecosystems of Southeast Asia and Central Asia. This partnership with Quest Ventures and Pavilion Capital will enable Kazakhstani start-ups to secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” said Mr Adil Nurgozhin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at QazTech Ventures, the Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund.

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Le Kazakhstan envisage des start-ups asiatiques alors que le coronavirus frappe le prix du pétrole

Urban Fusions

Le gouvernement du Kazakhstan investira dans des start-ups en Asie du Sud-Est dans le cadre des efforts visant à diversifier la plus grande économie d’Asie centrale loin du pétrole et du gaz, où les prix ont été réduits par la pandémie de coronavirus.

Le fonds de richesse d’État du pays, Baiterek National Managing Holdings, sera l’investisseur phare dans un véhicule géré par Quest Ventures, basé à Singapour. Le fonds est également soutenu par Temasek Holdings, la société d’investissement publique de Singapour.

À 50 millions de dollars, le fonds est petit mais il s’inscrit dans un effort plus large pour créer un couloir économique entre l’Asie centrale et l’Asie du Sud-Est. Adil Nurgozhin, président de la filiale de Baiterek, QazTech Ventures, a qualifié l’accord de «pas important» dans la connexion des économies des régions.

Le Kazakhstan, pris entre les puissances régionales de la Chine et de la Russie, cherche à diversifier ses investissements de portefeuille dans différentes parties du monde, selon des personnes familières avec la situation.

La transition vers le capital-risque intervient alors que les économies riches en pétrole, telles que celles du Moyen-Orient, ont cherché à élargir leurs sources de revenus dans un contexte de prix volatils du brut et d’un abandon plus large des combustibles fossiles.

Le pétrole et les industries connexes représentent environ 40% du produit intérieur brut du Kazakhstan et son économie a été frappée par la récente chute des prix du brut et l’épidémie de coronavirus.

Le gouvernement du Kazakhstan était auparavant lié à un investissement dans le deuxième Fonds Vision du conglomérat japonais SoftBank, qui aurait pu donner au pays une exposition aux start-ups technologiques du monde entier. Cependant, ce véhicule a été définitivement gelé cette semaine après que SoftBank a averti d’une perte de 16,7 milliards de dollars pour son premier Fonds Vision.

Le Kazakhstan a également eu des entretiens sur un investissement dans le véhicule de type hedge fund de plusieurs milliards de dollars prévu par SoftBank.

«La transformation numérique a été considérablement accélérée par l’épidémie de Covid-19»

Les malheurs de SoftBank, couplés à une baisse des évaluations des start-ups suite à l’échec de l’introduction en bourse de la société de partage de bureaux WeWork l’année dernière, ont incité certains gros investisseurs à se tourner vers d’autres acteurs du capital-risque. «Après WeWork, les investisseurs se tournent vers des opérateurs expérimentés pour identifier et guider les start-ups», a déclaré Jeffrey Seah, partenaire de Quest Ventures.

Le fonds Quest Ventures investira dans des start-ups dans des pays comme le Vietnam, l’Indonésie et les Philippines. «Il s’agira de bâtir une entreprise de qualité plutôt que [attracting] valorisations élevées », a-t-il ajouté.

M. Seah a déclaré que c’était le «bon moment» pour investir dans des start-ups dans la région, étant donné que beaucoup étaient contraints de renforcer leurs offres en ligne en raison des mesures de maintien à la maison des coronavirus.

« La transformation numérique des entreprises a été considérablement accélérée par l’épidémie de Covid-19 – lorsque le virus aura disparu, ces nouvelles habitudes resteront », a-t-il ajouté.

Les actifs de Baiterek représentaient environ 15 milliards de dollars, soit 8% du PIB du Kazakhstan en 2018, selon Fitch Ratings.

Le fonds a officiellement lancé son bras de capital-risque, QazTech Ventures, en décembre avec un accord pour soutenir V Global Fund, un fonds de capital-risque créé par l’investisseur américain 500 Startups.

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Kazakhstan eyes Asia start-ups as coronavirus hits oil price

Financial Times

Kazakhstan’s government will invest in start-ups across south-east Asia as part of efforts to diversify central Asia’s largest economy away from oil and gas, where prices have been slammed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The country’s state wealth fund, Baiterek National Managing Holdings, will be the anchor investor in a vehicle run by Singapore-based Quest Ventures. The fund has also been backed by Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s state investment company.

At $50m, the fund is small but it forms part of a broader push to create an economic corridor between central and south-east Asia. Adil Nurgozhin, chairman of Baiterek subsidiary QazTech Ventures, called the deal an “important step” in connecting the regions’ economies.

Kazakhstan, sandwiched between regional powers China and Russia, is looking to diversify its portfolio investments into different parts of the world, according to people familiar with the situation.

The move into venture capital comes as oil-rich economies, such as those in the Middle East, have sought to broaden their revenue sources against a backdrop of volatile crude prices and a broader shift away from fossil fuels.

Oil and related industries make up about 40 per cent of Kazakhstan’s gross domestic product and its economy has been hit by a recent slump in crude prices and the coronavirus outbreak.

SoftBank’s woes, coupled with a fall in start-up valuations following the failed initial public offering of office sharing company WeWork last year, have prompted some big investors to turn to alternative venture capital players. “Post WeWork, investors are turning to experienced operators to identify and guide start-ups,” said Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah.

The Quest Ventures fund will invest in start-ups in countries including Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. “It will be about building a quality business rather than [attracting] high valuations,” he added.

More


Singapore VC firm Quest Ventures hits first close of $50m Asia fund

Tech in Asia

Singapore-based VC firm Quest Ventures has announced the first close of its new US$50 million fund, anchored by two institutional investors, Pavilion Capital and Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund QazTech Ventures.

Quest Ventures said it plans to look for post-seed and series A opportunities across Southeast Asia and emerging Asia for its Asia Fund II. Already present in Vietnam, the company also plans to expand its footprint to other countries in the region, including Indonesia, Myanmar, and the Philippines.

Although it’s called Asia Fund II, the vehicle is Quest Ventures’ first institutionally backed fund. Its prior fund was invested out of the personal capital of its managing partner James Tan, according to a statement. Some of its notable investments include Carousell, ShopBack, 99.co, Carro, StyleTheory, Glife, and Xfers, among others.

Quest Ventures said that the deal marks QazTech’s first investment in an Asian VC fund as it looks to tap into the increased business activities between Central Asia and Southeast Asia.

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部分风险创投基金疫情期间 找到估值低潜能大投资项目

联合早报

受到2019冠状病毒疾病冲击,本地风险创投界的投资情绪转弱,不少创投基金在募集资金方面面临巨大挑战。

然而,危机同时也是商机,一些存有较充裕弹药的风险创投基金,在市场低迷时期反而找到许多估值偏低,或因疫情而具有巨大潜能的新领域如医疗、网上教育和视讯软件等投资项目。

总部设于新加坡的求索创投(Quest Ventures)宣布,吸引到淡马锡控股子公司兰亭投资国际(Pavilion Capital)和哈萨克斯坦主权财富基金旗下的QazTech Ventures加入投资。这是后者首次投资亚洲的风险投资基金。

求索创投宣布,求索创投亚洲基金II筹集了5000万美元,计划投资东南亚和新兴亚洲的起步公司,主要参与种子融资之后阶段和A轮投资。这是公司旗下首个获得机构投资者参与的基金。

索创投合伙人余庭瀚说,冠病疫情考验了每一家起步公司的产品、人才和商业基础,也考验了起步公司投资者的坚韧性和灵活性。

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新浪财经 部分风险创投基金疫情期间 找到估值低潜能大投资项目

新浪财经

受到2019冠状病毒疾病冲击,本地风险创投界的投资情绪转弱,不少创投基金在募集资金方面面临巨大挑战。

然而,危机同时也是商机,一些存有较充裕弹药的风险创投基金,在市场低迷时期反而找到许多估值偏低,或因疫情而具有巨大潜能的新领域如医疗、网上教育和视讯软件等投资项目。

根据创投信息平台DealStreetAsia整理数据显示,目前东南亚有至少19个风险创投企业正为新基金筹集资本,集资规模从1500万美元到1亿5000万美元(2143万至2亿143万新元))不等。一些基金固然面临集资挑战,但也一些基金成功募集部分资金,并开始进行投资运作。

总部设于新加坡的求索创投(Quest Ventures)宣布,吸引到淡马锡控股子公司兰亭投资国际(Pavilion Capital)和哈萨克斯坦主权财富基金旗下的QazTech Ventures加入投资。这是后者首次投资亚洲的风险投资基金。

求索创投宣布,求索创投亚洲基金II筹集了5000万美元,计划投资东南亚和新兴亚洲的起步公司,主要参与种子融资之后阶段和A轮投资。这是公司旗下首个获得机构投资者参与的基金。

索创投合伙人余庭瀚说,冠病疫情考验了每一家起步公司的产品、人才和商业基础,也考验了起步公司投资者的坚韧性和灵活性。

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Singapore’s Quest Closes First Round of $50 Million Venture Fund

Bloomberg

Quest Ventures, a Singapore venture capital firm, said it completed the first close of a planned $50 million fund.

Quest, founded by James Tan, raised the money from investors including Pavilion Capital of Singapore and QazTech Ventures of Kazakhstan. It’s the firm’s second venture fund and its first time tapping institutional investors, after Tan financed the first fund with his own money.

Quest plans to use the new financing to make early-stage investments in startups in Southeast Asia, a sprawling region with more than 620 million people and a fast-growing internet economy. The firm sees opportunity in financing businesses that are helping consumers and companies go digital, although the coronavirus outbreak is creating substantial challenges.

“The Covid-19 virus is testing the foundations of many startups,” said Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Quest. “Those with senior leadership that is dexterous, who can adjust to market changes fast, will survive.”

The firm’s previous investments include e-commerce startups ShopBack, Style Theory and Carousell, and online marketplace for second-hand goods valued at $850 million. Its first fund has returned more than 40% (in IRR) so far, Seah said.

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Quest Ventures looks to bridge S-E Asia and Central Asia with second fund

The Business Times

Investors in Quest’s latest fund include Pavilion Capital, the Temasek-owned private equity firm, as well as QazTech, a venture capital firm under Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund, Baiterek National Managing Holding.

Founded in 2011, Quest has backed over 50 regional startups through its first fund, including Carousell, ShopBack and SGAG. The first fund was invested out of the personal capital of Quest’s managing partner James Tan, a former entrepreneur who co-founded Chinese e-commerce firm 55tuan.

With its second fund, Quest will target not just South-east Asian startups, but also those in emerging Asian markets, at the post-seed and Series A stages. It will launch an accelerator in Kazakhstan to “jumpstart the region’s digital economy”.

Adil Nurgozhin, chairman of the board of directors at QazTech, said that his firm’s investment in Quest is “an important step in bringing together the innovative ecosystems of South-east Asia and Central Asia”.

“This partnership with Quest Ventures and Pavilion Capital will enable Kazakh startups to secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” said Mr Nurgozhin in a press release.

By working with Quest, Pavilion hopes to “play an important role in the venture capital ecosystem here”, added Tow Heng Tan, chief executive of Pavilion.

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Quest Ventures makes first close of fund II at US$50M led by Pavilion Capital, QazTech Ventures

e27

Singapore-based VC firm Quest Ventures has announced the first close of its second fund at US$50 million.

As per a press note, this represents more than half of Quest’s fund target for the second fund, called Quest Ventures Asia Fund II.

Two institutional investors, which participated in this investment, are Pavilion Capital from Singapore and QazTech Ventures from Kazakhstan.

The fund II will invest in startups across Southeast Asia and emerging Asia at the post-seed and Series A stages.

Additionally, Quest Ventures said it will expand its footprint to countries, such as Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines. It already has a presence in fast-growing economies such as Vietnam.

“We were deliberate in selecting our investors as we value both financial and operational contributions. As operators ourselves before becoming investors, we appreciate what a diverse team can bring to the table. With this fund, we hope to bring different skill sets, domain experience and connections to help our companies,” said Goh Yiping, Partner at Quest Ventures.

Kazakhstan’s national economic initiatives have seen increased business activities between Central Asia and Southeast Asia. This is its sovereign wealth fund Qaztech’s first investment in a VC fund in Asia, and is widely seen to be tapping into Quest’s experience in emerging Asia and in developing innovation ecosystems.

“The cooperation of Kazakhstan with Singapore’s leading venture fund is an important step in bringing together the innovative ecosystems of Southeast Asia and Central Asia. This partnership with Quest and Pavilion will enable Kazakhstani startups to secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” said Adil Nurgozhin, Chairman of the Board of Directors at QazTech Ventures.

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SG’s Quest Ventures secures first close of $50m fund backed by Pavilion Capital, QazTech Ventures

TechNode Global

The tech investors at Quest Ventures today debuted their second fund, worth $50 million.

Focused on making post-seed and series A investments, Quests’ Fund II is seeking out startups “across Southeast Asia and emerging Asia,” the team said in a statement today. That means the Singapore-based VC is eyeing investments in nations it has yet to explore, such as the Philippines and Myanmar.

Quest Ventures’s key facts:

  • Founded in 2011 by serial entrepreneurs James Tan and Wang Yunming
  • First fund backed over 50 startups
  • Big-name investees include shopping app Carousell, sex toy startup Vibease, and property listings site 99.co

Quest Ventures partner James Tan tells Technode Global that the firm is still doing deals with startups, despite the ongoing disruption from the Covid–19 pandemic.

Increasingly, both global and regional VCs are chasing Southeast Asia’s startups. However, 2019 saw fewer mega deals for late-stage startups and unicorns across Southeast Asia, resulting in total funding dropping to US$7.7 billion from the previous year’s US$12 billion. This year could see the tally drop further.

Quest’s new fund comprises money from two major institutional investors: Pavilion Capital, a spinoff from Singapore sovereign wealth fund Temasek; and QazTech Ventures, which derives from Kazakhstan’s own sovereign wealth fund.

The move will help Kazakhstan’s nascent startup industry to “secure important investments, improve competencies, and gain access to global markets,” says QazTech Ventures chairman Adil Nurgozhin in a statement.

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Quest Ventures raises USD$50m (£40m) VC fund

The Gaming Economy

Singaporean venture capital firm Quest Ventures has closed a USD$50m investment vehicle, termed Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, which will be targeted towards digital-focused startups in Southeast Asia. The fund has been backed by two anchor limited partners (LPs), namely Temasek investment division Pavilion Capital, and the Kazakhstan sovereign wealth fund subsidiary QazTech Ventures.

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Singapore’s Quest Ventures achieves first close for new fund

AVCJ

Quest Ventures, a Singapore-headquartered venture capital firm, has achieved the first close for a new fund. The target for the vehicle is $50 million.

QazTech Ventures, a subsidiary of Kazakhstani sovereign fund Baiterek National Management, has contributed $10 million to Quest Ventures’ second fund, according to an announcement on Strategy 2050.

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Singapore’s enhanced support amid tighter restrictions a lifeline for startups

DealStreetAsia

Quest Ventures partner Jeffrey Seah described the wage relief as a huge lifeline for startups in Singapore. Startups typically raise money for 12 to 30 months’ runway, he explained. Well-run companies might see that runway halved under current conditions, while the more average ones might see it cut to less than six months.

But the well-managed startups can potentially extend their runway by up to 12 months at this moment by cutting costs and finding more capital, while those that are over-valued and facing collection issues will struggle to get additional funding, Seah said.

Saving three-quarters of wages is, therefore, significant.

“It allows startups to conserve cash, not just to keep their staff, but to direct them to capability building work to return stronger-moated to the market when COVID-19 is finally managed,” Seah said. “This is life-saving for all the startups domiciled and staffed in Singapore. It is a deliberate and resolute demonstration of the Singapore government’s determination to preserve the (commercial and) startup hub that is Singapore.”

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SG’s Quest Ventures ropes in Pavilion Capital, QazTech as anchor LPs

DealStreetAsia

Singapore-based venture capital firm Quest Ventures has secured two anchor limited partners (LPs) for its $50-million fund.

The two anchor LPs are Kazakhstan’s sovereign wealth fund subsidiary, QazTech Ventures, and Temasek arm, Pavilion Capital, as first reported by Kazakh publication Strategy 2050.

According to the report, QazTech Ventures is investing $10 million in Quest Ventures, which will also back a startup acceleration programme – Kazakhstan Digital Accelerator – to nurture tech startups in Kazakhstan and Central Asia over the next three years.

This is understood to be QazTech Ventures’s first LP investment in Southeast Asia. The Kazakh sovereign wealth fund also recently invested in 500 Startups’s fifth global fund based in Silicon Valley, according to the report. DealStreetAsia has reached out to Quest Ventures for comment.

This report confirms an earlier DealStreetAsia story on Quest Ventures securing LP interest from two sovereign wealth funds last year, one of which was from Singapore. Quest Ventures had been reported to be aiming a $25-million first close in December for the same early-stage fund.

Although the vehicle is called Quest Ventures Asia Fund II, it is Quest’s first institutionally-backed fund. Its first fund was invested out of the personal capital of its managing partner, James Tan, who is also the co-founder of Nasdaq-listed Chinese e-commerce company, 55tuan.

Quest Ventures targets startups in Southeast Asia’s digital economy in areas such as agritech, food chain supply, and logistics. The firm has previously said it plans to invest in about 100 companies across the fund’s 10-year tenure, with ticket sizes between $500,000 and $1 million and scope for follow-on investments. Since 2010, Quest has added over 40 companies to its portfolio including names like Carro, Carousell, 99.co, ShopBack, and Glife.

The VC has been steadily expanding its team since last year. It appointed two partners in March – Goh Yiping and Jeffrey Seah – to manage the growth of its venture business. According to Quest Ventures’s website, the firm also runs innovation labs and corporate accelerators, serving a global list of clients such as Nissan, VMWare, Yahoo, HP, Tencent, and Coca Cola.

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Quest Ventures gets Pavilion Capital, QazTech as anchor LPs

Singapore Business Review

Venture capital firm Quest Ventures secured QazTech Ventures and Pavilion Capital as anchor limited partners (LPs) for its $50m funding, according to a report.

QazTech Ventures is investing $10m in Quest Ventures to nurture startups in Kazakhstan and Central Asia over the next three years. This will be the company’s first LP investment in Southeast Asia (SEA).

Quest Ventures reportedly is aiming a $25m first close in December for the same early-stage fund.

The company targets startups in SEA’s digital economy in areas such as agritech, food chain supply, and logistics.

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First-time funds brace for rocky start as COVID-19 lingers on

DealStreetAsia

Quest Ventures was asked to share its experience with first-time funds on DealStreetAsia.

“The COVID-19 outbreak, which continues to tighten its vice-like grip across the world, has altered the fundraising landscape for first-time managers often seen as more vulnerable compared to storied investors on the trail.

“Raising overseas capital is going to be tricky,” shared James Tan, founding partner of early-stage Southeast Asian venture firm Quest Ventures.

“It doesn’t matter how well-known we are out there, a face-to-face meeting will still be required. This isn’t just a meeting with one or two people. Our entire investment team needs to go there, say hi and shake their hands. All that is going to be impossible in this climate.””

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SIHUB boosts connections to form million-dollar startups

Saigon Online

Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB), one of the leading organizations in startup support activities in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), has been trying to link different domestic and international startup organizations, investment funds, and consultation companies in hope of creating more and more successful startups in Vietnam.

… Another successful story under the help of SIHUB is Logivan, a platform to offer bulky goods shipping service nationwide via connections of several transport companies and goods manufacturers to minimize empty truck running. It attracted its first US$7.9-million capital source from Asian investors thanks to the program ‘Runway to The World’ to incubate potential startups by SIHUB and Quest Ventures (from Singapore).

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Southeast Asian VCs weigh in on how startups can survive COVID-19

KrASIA

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Quest Ventures, stresses that only the strongest will survive the cull.

“Darwinian thinking underwrites every form of commerce, and in these times the going concern of every startup. As the VC market operating mindset matures with more domain experts and adopts more mainstream business metrics, this Covid market is more than just an academic Black Swan event.

It will become the defining period of bootstrapping, scrum, and hockey-stick-growth for startups that have built their fundamentals well, and conversely the retrograde period for those overvalued yet under-built. They will remember this period as a seminal pivoting moment.”

Seah from Quest Ventures also agrees that this is absolutely not the time for business-as-usual, but it also should not be a hibernation period for startups.

“At Quest Ventures, we continue to evaluate our deal flows and disburse due in investments. Now is not the time for paralysis, when the ecosystem needs the most guidance and support. As past operators, we are working in the trenches with our portfolio companies, to extract as much value from this period of business opportunity, the preservation valuation comes from quality of revenue, rather than cash hoarding.

This is a good fundraising time for direct-to-customer businesses—media, content, delivery, and SaaS services. Their business models are and will be Darwin-validated as the curfews and lockdowns continue to disrupt the society, and resultantly, marketplaces.”

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Who wants to be a venture capitalist?

The Business Times

More ex-entrepreneurs have also entered the venture capital fray, notes Goh Yiping, a partner at Quest Ventures who was previously co-founder of an e-commerce startup.

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Meet 4 VCs who are early adopters of e27 Pro

e27

Quest Ventures is proud to be an early adopter of e27 Pro.

“These four top global and regional VCs are the first to sign up for e27 Pro.

When we quietly launched e27 Pro, our community has been most supportive; offering encouragement and feedback that helped us design e27 Pro into what it is today: a membership programme that is designed to give you actionable insights, exclusive business-building programmes, and tools that enable your company’s success.

We’d like to tell you more about the early adopters of e27 Pro who have helped and are continually helping us make the platform better.”

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东南亚女性投资者:我们才是新生力量

36氪

正值国际妇女节之际,KrASIA 网站采访了东南亚投资公司里几名女性明星合伙人,分享了她们对性别多样性的看法。

KrASIA 调查了34家活跃于东南亚地区的风险投资公司员工名册。调查结果很能说明问题:仅12 家公司的投资团队里有一位或多位女性合伙人。

Quest Ventures 的合伙人 Goh Yiping 认为,人们常常对女性有太过争强好胜的偏见。当别的投资人看到她名片上印着的“合伙人”头衔时,常常会很惊讶。38岁的 Goh Yiping 说:“他们惊讶的原因是我看起来年纪很小——但我其实没那么年轻。主要是在(风险投资公司)中处于管理职位的女性合伙人太少,助长了这种偏见。”

Yiping 在加入 Quest Ventures 之前已经在科技行业工作了二十多年。她之前也成立过几家初创公司,包括在线零售交易聚合网站 All Deals Asia,这家网站在2014年被印尼的 Lippo Group 收购。去年,她被《 Harper’s Bazaar Singapore 》杂志评为“为新加坡科技和数字化领域奠定基础”的40岁以下女性之一。

为什么决定跨行从创始人变成投资者?

Yiping 在接受 KrASIA 的采访时表示:“因为我想知道风险投资这一行业是否适合我。我想成为那种在我还是创始人时就想合作的投资者。”

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In Southeast Asia, women investors are a growing force in the startup space

KrASIA

Several high-profile women from the region’s active investment firms share their thoughts with KrASIA on gender diversity.

KrASIA reviewed the rosters of 34 VC firms that are active in Southeast Asia. The results were telling. Only 12 firms have one or more female partners on their investment teams.

Goh Yiping, a partner at Quest Ventures, also agrees that the bias can surface when women are perceived as being too ambitious. Sometimes, people are surprised to see her “partner” title on her business card. “But mostly because I look young—I’m not that young,” said 38-year-old Yiping. The fact that there are “too few female partners at senior positions [in VC firms] probably helps propagate the stereotype.”

Before joining Quest Ventures in 2015, Yiping had already worked in tech for more than two decades. She previously founded several startups, including All Deals Asia, an online aggregator of retail deals that was acquired by Indonesia’s Lippo Group in 2014. Last year, she was named by Harper’s Bazaar Singapore as one of the city-state’s women aged under 40 who are “paving the way in the tech and digital spheres.”

Why did she decide to cross the line and go from founder to investor? “I wanted to know whether venture capital could be my cup of tea in the future,” Yiping told KrASIA. “I want to become the kind of investor that I would have wanted to work with when I was a founder.”

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Temasek leads ShopBack’s extended US$75m funding round

The Business Times

The latest capital injection brings ShopBack’s total funding since its founding in 2014 to US$113 million. The company is also backed by SoftBank Ventures Asia and counts Singapore-based Qualgro and Quest Ventures among its earlier investors.

A senior executive at Temasek told BT in October last year that the state investment firm has its eye on what it calls “aspiring unicorns” in South-east Asia – companies valued between US$100 million and US$1 billion.

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Қазақстан мен Сингапур бірлескен венчурлік қор құрды

Baiterek

Нұр-Сұлтан қаласында Холдингтің еншілес ұйымы – «QazTech Ventures» АҚ-ның сингапурлық «Quest Ventures Asia Fund II» (QVAF II) венчурлік қорына қатысуды көздейтін, жалпы мөлшері 50 млн. АҚШ долларына тиісті келісім жасалды. Капиталы 10 млн. АҚШ доллары QazTech Ventures қорға «зәкірлік» инвестор ретінде кіреді. Келісім талаптарына сәйкес, бірлесе құрған қор алдағы үш жылда Қазақстан мен Орта Азияның келешегі бар стартап жобаларын қарастырып, қаржыландырады.

Сингапурлық Темаѕек жетекші қаржылық даму институтының еншілес құрылымы Pavilion Capital құрылған қордың зәкірлік инвесторларының бірі болып табылады. Pavilion Capital – бұл АҚШ пен Азиядағы қарқынды дамып келе жатқан жобаларға стратегиялық қолдау көрсететін тікелей және венчурлік инвестициялар компаниясы. Қазақстан тарихында алғаш рет «Temasek» қазақстандық жобаларға инвестиция салмақшы.

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Қазақстан мен Сингапур бірлескен венчурлік қор құрды

AKIpress

«Бәйтерек» холдингі Қазақстанның стартап жобаларын дамыту үшін шетелдік инвестицияларды тарту мақсатында сингапурлық бизнеспен ынтымақтастықты кеңейтуде.

Нұр-Сұлтан қаласында Холдингтің еншілес ұйымы – «QazTech Ventures» АҚ-ның сингапурлық «Quest Ventures Asia Fund II» (QVAF II) венчурлік қорына қатысуды көздейтін, жалпы мөлшері 50 млн. АҚШ долларына тиісті келісім жасалды. Капиталы 10 млн. АҚШ доллары QazTech Ventures қорға «зәкірлік» инвестор ретінде кіреді. Келісім талаптарына сәйкес, бірлесе құрған қор алдағы үш жылда Қазақстан мен Орта Азияның келешегі бар стартап жобаларын қарастырып, қаржыландырады.

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Kazakhstan and Singapore established joint venture fund

Strategy 2050

QazTech Ventures with a capital of $ 10 million will enter this fund as an anchor investor. … the jointly created fund will consider and finance promising startup projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia in the next three years.

One of the anchor investors of the established fund is Pavilion Capital, a subsidiary of Temasek, Singapore’s leading financial development institution.

“Collaboration with the leading Singapore fund and the opening of a joint acceleration program is an important step in building the country’s venture ecosystem and bringing domestic startups to the global market. Today, the venture market in Southeast Asia has high potential and is developing at a rapid pace. We expect that in the near future projects funded by this Fund will be able to be competitive both in Kazakhstan and abroad, in particular in Southeast Asia”, Chairman of the Board of Directors of QazTech Ventures JSC, Managing Director of “Baiterek” Holding Adil Nurgozhin said.

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SG Budget adds COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak measures

Deal Street Asia

Quest Ventures provided its opinion to Deal Street Asia on the measures taken by the government to address the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.

“Quest Ventures, through a spokesperson, said the virus measures will soothe the right pain points.

No other country we know of in the world besides China are actively ensuring the long-term viability of businesses and the broader economy from both operating expenditure and staffing angles,” the spokesperson said.”

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Private investors eye S$300m additional ammo to fund startups

The Business Times

Quest Ventures provided its opinion to The Business Times on the Startup SG Equity and the Angel Investors Tax Deduction scheme in the Singapore Budget 2020.

On the S$300 million that will be added to the Startup SG Equity scheme: “Late-stage funding is hard to come by for deep tech players, said a spokeman for venture firm Quest Ventures. “The Series B gap is real and we expect this to grow… as the commercialisation value of these deep tech startups is difficult to ascertain,” he said.

On the lapse of the Angel Investors Tax Deduction scheme, “The Quest Ventures spokesman similarly said that he has rarely seen the AITD scheme tapped on by angel investors. For instance, Quest’s managing partner James Tan, who was an angel investor of startups Carousell and ShopBack, also did not tap the scheme, the spokesman said.”

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Funds don’t come easy for Singapore’s deep tech startups

Deal Street Asia

Quest Ventures provided its opinion to Deal Street Asia on the deep tech ecosystem of Singapore and its current state of investment.

“The deep tech top-up comes at an important time when the current batch of deep tech startups are mostly struggling to raise funding,” said Quest Ventures through a spokesperson. Quest focuses on early-stage digital commerce investments in China and Southeast Asia, and its mandate covers deep tech.

The Quest spokesperson said that while access to capital was important for deep tech startups in Singapore, the bigger challenge lies in growing the ecosystem as a whole.

“Despite the resources spent, Singapore as an ecosystem is not as well-known as other cities such as Silicon Valley, Israel or Japan as deep tech hubs,” Quest said. “It is time to relook at the deep tech sector and work with different parties to push this forward.””

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How My MBA Helped Me Launch My Venture Capital Company

BusinessBecause

Quest Ventures’ Managing Partner James Tan was interviewed as an alumni of the Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA Program.

“James Tan founded Quest Ventures, a multimillion dollar venture capital firm focused on tech startups in Asia. He says his MBA helped him break into the Chinese market.

James credits enrolling on the Tsinghua-MIT Global MBA Program, a collaboration between Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (Tsinghua SEM) in Beijing and MIT Sloan, for helping him to grow a successful business and expanding into the lucrative Chinese market.

James recognized how many Chinese startup originally mimicked business ideas from the US. More recently, companies like Weibo (China’s Twitter) and DiDi (China’s Uber) use US models as a starting point, but are bespoke to China.

Similarly, James looked to US venture capital firm Sequoia—which has invested in Apple, Stripe, and Airbnb—as an example of the long-term success that he wanted Quest to emulate. But crucially, it needed to have an Asia focus.

“I wanted to build a very strong VC firm by this region, for this region,” says James.”

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তরুণ উদ্যোক্তাদের জন্য ‘স্টার্টআপ কিংডম’ বইয়ের মোড়ক উন্মোচন

Daily Ittefaq

Quest Ventures’ James Tan unveiled book on Bangladesh startups co-authored by Quest Ventures’ mentor Shameem Ahsan.

“পেগাসাস টেক ভেঞ্চারস এর জেনারেল পার্টনার ও প্রধান নির্বাহী কর্মকর্তা ড. আনিস উজ্জামান এবং ভেঞ্চার ক্যাপিটাল অ্যান্ড প্রাইভেট ইক্যুইটি অ্যাসোসিয়েশন অব বাংলাদেশ (ভিসিপিয়াব) ও ইজেনারেশনের চেয়ারম্যান শামীম আহসান লিখিত স্টার্টআপ বিষয়ক বই ‘স্টার্টআপ কিংডম’ এর উন্মোচন করা হয়েছে।

শনিবার (৮ ফেব্রুয়ারি ২০২০) রাজধানীর রেডিসন ব্লু ওয়াটার গার্ডেনে আয়োজিত এক অনুষ্ঠানে বইটির মোড়ক উন্মোচন করা হয়। গাইড লাইনমূলক বইটিতে ছয়টি অধ্যায়ে প্রচুর রিসোর্স রয়েছে, যা স্টার্টআপ প্রতিষ্ঠাতাদের সম্ভাব্য বাজারগুলোতে তার ব্যবসাকে প্রতিষ্ঠিত করতে সুযোগ করে দেবে।

বইটির উন্মোচন করেন পররাষ্ট্র মন্ত্রী ড. এ কে আবদুল মোমেন ও আইসিটি প্রতিমন্ত্রী জুনাইদ আহমেদ পলক। এসময় উপস্থিত ছিলেন কুয়েস্ট ভেঞ্চারস এর ব্যবস্থাপনা অংশীদার জেমস টান, ডেফটা পার্টনারস এর প্রিন্সিপাল মাসা ইসোনো, উইমেন ইন টেক এশিয়ার প্রতিষ্ঠাতা জেনি রিসকু, ওপেনস্পেস ভেঞ্চারস এর পরিচালক ইয়ান সিকোরা, আইআইএম এর গভর্নেন্স বোর্ড সদস্য ড. সৌগত রায়, আইএফসির কান্ট্রি ম্যানেজার ওয়েন্ডি ওয়ার্নার প্রমুখ।”

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স্টার্টআপ বিষয়ক বই ‘স্টার্টআপ কিংডম’ উন্মোচিত

Jugantor

Quest Ventures’ James Tan unveiled book on Bangladesh startups co-authored by Quest Ventures’ mentor Shameem Ahsan.

“পেগাসাস টেক ভেঞ্চারস এর জেনারেল পার্টনার ও প্রধান নির্বাহী কর্মকর্তা ড. আনিস উজ্জামান এবং ভেঞ্চার ক্যাপিটাল অ্যান্ড প্রাইভেট ইক্যুইটি অ্যাসোসিয়েশন অব বাংলাদেশ (ভিসিপিয়াব) ও ই-জেনারেশনের চেয়ারম্যান শামীম আহসান লিখিত স্টার্টআপ বিষয়ক বই ‘স্টার্টআপ কিংডম’ এর উন্মোচন করা হয়েছে।

শনিবার রাজধানীর রেডিসন ব্লু ওয়াটার গার্ডেনে আয়োজিত এক অনুষ্ঠানে বইটি উন্মোচন করা হয়। গাইডলাইনমূলক বইটিতে ছয়টি অধ্যায়ে প্রচুর রিসোর্স রয়েছে, যা স্টার্টআপ প্রতিষ্ঠাতাদের সম্ভাব্য বাজারগুলোতে তার ব্যবসাকে প্রতিষ্ঠিত করতে সুযোগ করে দেবে।

বইটির উন্মোচন করেন পররাষ্ট্র মন্ত্রী ড. এ কে আবদুল মোমেন ও আইসিটি প্রতিমন্ত্রী জুনাইদ আহমেদ পলক। এসময় উপস্থিত ছিলেন কুয়েস্ট ভেঞ্চারস এর ব্যবস্থাপনা অংশীদার জেমস টান, ডেফটা পার্টনারস এর প্রিন্সিপাল মাসা ইসোনো, উইমেন ইন টেক এশিয়ার প্রতিষ্ঠাতা জেনি রিসকু, ওপেনস্পেস ভেঞ্চারস এর পরিচালক ইয়ান সিকোরা, আইআইএম এর গভর্নেন্স বোর্ড সদস্য ড. সৌগত রায়, আইএফসির কান্ট্রি ম্যানেজার ওয়েন্ডি ওয়ার্নার প্রমুখ।”

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‘Startup Kingdom’, a comprehensive handbook for startup biz

The Financial Express

Quest Ventures’ James Tan unveiled book on Bangladesh startups co-authored by Quest Ventures’ mentor Shameem Ahsan.

“‘Startup Kingdom’, authored by Dr. Anis Uzzaman, General Partner and CEO of Pegasus Tech Ventures, and Shameem Ahsan, Chairman, Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh and eGeneration, was unveiled at an event held in Radisson Blue Water Garden, Dhaka recently.

The book is a comprehensive handbook for startup founders in South Asia and Global startup ecosystem, said a statement. It features six chapters and comes with a range of resources that can help startup founders seize the opportunities in their areas of businesses.

The book was unveiled by Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen MP, ICT Sate Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, James Tan, Managing Partner, Quest Ventures; Masa Isono, Principal, DEFTA Partners; Jenni Risku, Founder, Women in Tech Asia; Ian Sikora, Director, Openspace Ventures; Prof. Dr. Sougata Ray, Member of Board of Governance IIM, Calcutta and Wendy Werner, Country Manager, IFC; Mahrukh Mohiuddin, Director, University Press Limited were present among others during the launching ceremony of the book.”

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No alternative to skilled manpower to face 4IR: Salman

The Financial Express

Salman F Rahman, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh on Private Industry and Investment, met with international investors who were in Bangladesh to judge the finals of the Startup World Cup.

“Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman on Saturday said there is no option but to create skilled manpower in Bangladesh to face the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR).

He made the remark while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Startup World Cup 2020, a global startup pitch competition with 30+ regional events across the six continents, at a city hotel, reports UNB.

The finalists pitched their business in front of live audience and jury at the gala finale held in the capital.

The winner was selected by a panel of investor judges, including James Tan, Managing Partner, Quest Ventures.”

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Vision 2025 launched to create startup and VC-friendly ecosystem in BD

The Financial Express

Quest Ventures’ mentor Shameem Ahsan launches Vision 2025 for Bangladesh startup ecosystem witnessed by Quest Ventures’ James Tan and others.

“Vision 2025 to create a startup and VC-friendly ecosystem has been launched at the Bangladesh regional event of the biggest startup competition in the world Startup World Cup.

It has been targeted that within 2025, Bangladesh startup ecosystem will develop seven times accomplishing 4 objectives of the vision. In the present time there is one and only USD 1.0 billion dollar company (Unicorn) and the goal is to have five companies with billion-dollar valuation or Unicorn in Bangladesh by 2025. The current Startup ecosystem of the country is valued at 1.45 billion with a potential to reach 10-billion-dollar valuation. These startups have created one hundred and fifty thousand jobs and seven hundred indirect jobs currently. The vision envisions taking direct employment to 1.0 million and indirect employment to 5.0 million by 2025.

Mr. Shameem Ahsan, Chairman, Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB) and eGeneration and General Partner, Pegasus Tech Ventures presented the mission at the session titled “Venture Capital for Double Digit Growth” during the inauguration ceremony of Startup World Cup, 2020 grand finale event day held at the Radisson Blu Water Garden, Dhaka, in front of private sector adviser to prime minister. Along with the vision he has placed 11 points recommendation to achieve the targets.”

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Bangladesh entrepreneurs are supported at many levels by the private and public sectors

RTV News

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, Mr James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures, joins Mr A H M Mustafa Kamal, Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, and other distinguished guests on a panel discussion on venture capital and startups for double digit growth.

James Tan said, “Singapore can provide a useful blueprint for Bangladesh to adapt to its local environment. With angel networks such as The Angel Network and Bangladesh Angels; accelerators such as the Grameenphone Accelerator; IT talent from institutions of higher learning such as BUET; and industry-wide trade associations such as the Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh, Bangladesh entrepreneurs are supported at many levels by the private and public sectors.”

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Vision 2025 launched to create $10b startup market in Bangladesh

The Business Standard

Quest Ventures’ James Tan witnessed launch of Vision 2025 for the Bangladesh ICT sector.

“Vision 2025 to create a startup and Venture Capital friendly ecosystem has been launched at the Bangladesh regional event of Startup World Cup, the biggest startup competition in the world, on Saturday, targeting Bangladesh startup ecosystem that will develop seven times by accomplishing the objectives of the vision, said a press release.

At present, there is one and only $1 billion Dollar company (Unicorn) and the goal is to have five companies with billion-dollar valuation or Unicorn in Bangladesh by 2025.

The current startup ecosystem of the country is valued at $1.45 billion with the potential to reach a 10-billion-dollar valuation. These startups have created 150000 jobs and 700 indirect jobs recently.

The vision foresees taking direct employment to 1 million and indirect employment to 5 million by 2025.”

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Here’s what you missed at BASE Conference 2020 – Johor’s inaugural business and tech conference

e27

Russ Neu, venture partner for impact, was on the opening panel at BASE Conference 2020.

“The local startups now boast a combined valuation of RM467million (USD115 million), with more than 400 jobs being created over the past 4 years, contributing an average of RM160 million per year to the local state GDP. There are also a staggering number of 46 coworking spaces, now, in Iskandar, Malaysia, combining for a total area of 300,000 square footage. These figures were all taken from the Johor Startup Ecosystem Report which was officially published on 15 Jan 2019, in conjunction with IskandarSpace’s first year anniversary.

Russ Neu, Venture Partner, Impact, Quest Ventures believes that “A lot of new technology and innovation in the coming decade will be addressing the UN’s SDGs”.”

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Baiterek Holding creates venture capital fund, pursues long-term construction projects in 2020

The Astana Times

“The signing of the package of documents, we believe, will certainly lead to positive results. In particular, investments of a leading venture company in Kazakh projects will increase the attractiveness of our country’s venture market and attract other key players. In addition, Kazakh projects will have the opportunity of international acceleration and access to advanced competencies and experience,” said Arifkhanov, reported the press service.

Later QazTech Ventures also signed a memorandum with Quest Ventures, a leading venture capital fund in Singapore, as well as a tripartite memorandum with the National Agency for Innovation of Thailand and Baiterek Holding.

“The countries of Southeast Asia were able to make a significant breakthrough in the development of their economies thanks to the recently adopted and successfully implemented strategy for the development of innovations and venture financing. Over the past five years, Asia’s VC (venture capital) indicators have increased by almost 14 times,” the Baiterek press service said.

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No more ‘burn, baby, burn’: VCs expect more caution in 2020

The Business Times

Jeffrey Seah, a partner at Quest Ventures, similarly thinks that 2020 may bring more mindfulness and perhaps even more rational valuations.

“There is a more mature and mainstream lens in evaluating venture ideas as going concerns, versus the past cavalier “spray and pray” approaches to drive coverage and seize market share.”

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Singaporeans in Hong Kong and mainland China: how the ‘third wing’ of the Lion City’s economy took flight

SCMP

The South China Morning Post interviewed Quest Ventures’ James Tan for his perspective on how Singaporean firms have, over the decades, moved from a ‘first wing’ – the domestic economy – to a second, namely regional expansion and how a new group of entrepreneurs is assimilating into other economies and building localised businesses rather than brandishing the city state’s brand.

“Drawn to China by the simple desire to fish in “a bigger pond”, he founded online daily-deals site 55tuan.com with four other schoolmates in late 2009, after graduating from Beijing’s prestigious Tsinghua University.

The firm would go on to become the first Chinese e-commerce firm listed on the Nasdaq index in the United States, with a presence in more than 200 cities in China today.

“It may be hard to believe now in an age of Grab, Airbnb and Meetup, but gathering a group of people who do not know one another and who want to do something similar together in 2009 was difficult,” Tan said, noting that 55tuan.com took off only after group discounts at restaurants were built into the service.

Being at the heart of the massive Chinese market meant Tan and his team had to deal with swarms of competitors, including many scam companies.

“China back then was not a nice place to kick new business ideas off the ground. People would take your idea and run with it. Even up till five years ago, there was this term called C2C, or Copy to China. Everything you can find in Silicon Valley, you’d be able to find a copycat version in China.”

But a lot had changed since, he said – including China’s building up of its own technological muscle.

“The Chinese are no longer just copycats. They’ve taken ideas and made them even better,” Tan said. “It’s not just Alibaba or WeChat. Just look at ride-sharing apps like Didi Chuxing and drone manufacturers like DJI. There’re also social media apps like TikTok – who knew it would become this big? The US is no longer the world’s only source of inspiration.”

Tan founded venture capital firm Quest Ventures in 2011 to focus on the untapped potential of Southeast Asian start-ups, instead of those trying to break into the Chinese market.

“Five years ago, it would have made sense to focus on start-ups entering China, but not any more,” he said. “Now you also have many haigui [people who return to China after studying abroad]. Like everyone else, they can see that opportunities no longer just exist in the US, but right there in their home country, in China.””

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